What’s in a name; apparently, hundreds of millions of dollars if you are VeriSign (VRSN) and are responsible for registering countless website domain names. VeriSign Domain Name Services maintains the most widely used website domain name registrars, including but not limited to .com, .net and .tv. Over half the world’s DNS (domain name services) count on VeriSign.
VeriSign also provides protection from Distributed Denial of Service attacks (or DDoS attacks) and possesses a program called iDefense. However, their main area of business is domain name services. A DDoS attack is when multiple computer systems, infected by viruses, flood a targeted website and flood its bandwidth with traffic causing the website to slow down and eventually stop operating. The iDefense is a group of 6 intelligence teams who research threats, vulnerabilities and malicious codes. The information is then delivered to global enterprises and government entities to help secure the web. (http://www.verisigninc.com/en_US/why-verisign/verisign-brand-difference/why-idefense-intelligence/index.xhtml)
In the past, VeriSign also was the number one provider of SSL security certificates to internet sites, assuring people that their internet transactions were secure. While the SSL Certificate portion of the business was doing well and created some notoriety for VeriSign, the company wished to focus more on their DNS services and sold that portion to Symantec (SYMC) in 2010 for 1.28 billion dollars.
With the every growing nature of the internet, the decision for VeriSign to stay focused on their niche of the market is paying off. During the third quarter of 2011, the names base for .com and .net reached approximately 112 million names. Roughly 2 million names were added in the third quarter alone. This is an 8% increase for year to year registration and a 2% increase based on quarter to quarter registration growth. (http://seekingalpha.com/article/303010-verisign-management-discusses-q3-2011-results-earnings-call-transcript)
Revenue wise, VeriSign is having some great numbers. Earnings for the 3rd quarter were 197 million, a 4% increase from the previous quarter and a 14% increase in the year to year earnings. Deferred revenue saw an 11% increase from the same quarter in 2010. John Calys, Vice President, Interim CFO and Controller stated during the 3rd quarter conference call “we saw a solid performance in Q3, we have grown non-GAAP operating income and net income, we have a strong balance sheet and expect strong cash flow generation to continue as a result of our financial model.” (http://seekingalpha.com/article/303010-verisign-management-discusses-q3-2011-results-earnings-call-transcript)
All in all, VeriSign has rooted themselves into the market and is doing well. As the internet grows, VeriSign can only become more prosperous, earning an income from almost every domain name registered. It was a great year for VeriSign and it doesn’t look like there are any troubles in their future.