According to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by VeriSign Inc.
(VRSN - Analyst Report
), approximately seven million names were added to the Internet in the first quarter of 2012. Therefore, the total number of registered domain names increased to approximately 233 million on a worldwide basis.
The addition of 7.5 million domain names represents a 3.3% sequential growth rate. Registrations have grown by more than 23 million or 11%, since the first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, registrations of .com and .net totaled 8.9 million during the quarter, up 7.7% year over year. The .com/.net renewal rate for the first quarter was 73.9%, up from 73.5% for the fourth quarter.
The .com and .net TLDs reached a combined total of 116.7 million names, up 2.5% sequentially and 8.1% year over year.
VeriSign began tracking the ccTLDs launched by ICANN through the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process. This new fast track process enabled countries and territories that use languages based on non-Latin scripts offer users domain names in non-Latin characters. Hence, the additional tracking led to VeriSign gaining an additional 808,967 ccLTD in the first quarter of 2012.
VeriSign’s registry, security and communications services are essential for the smooth functioning of the online world.
VeriSign recently applied for nine Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) transliterations of .com and three IDN transliterations of .net.
The applications submitted by VeriSign represent approximately 12 out of the 14 new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) applications. The company submitted the applications through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) new gTLD program.
IDN aims to make the Internet more user-friendly to end users all over the world by enabling them to identify themselves using their native language scripts. VeriSign has applied for IDN transliterations of .com in nine non-Latin based scripts.
Management expects these non-Latin based transliterations of .com and .net to open more options for global Internet users.
VeriSign has also applied for verisign and .comsec along with the 12 IDN transliterations of .com and .net. Additionally, applicants for approximately 220 new gTLDs selected Verisign to provide back-end registry services. However, revenue from new gTLDs is not expected to be materialized before 2013. VeriSign views the positively impact results in the coming years.
We continue to maintain a Neutral recommendation on VeriSign. Our Neutral recommendation is supported by a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a Sell rating.