GoDaddy IPO to value company at $2.87 billion, but profit concerns emerge

According to disclosures in its regulatory filing, the company lost $143 million last year and hasn't turned a profit since 2009.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Web domain host GoDaddy is going public.

In an updated regulatory filing submitted Thursday, the company revealed it plans to offer up 22 million shares of Class A common stock, priced between between $17 and $19 per share -- bumping its valuation to around $2.87 billion.

GoDaddy will list on the tech-heavy New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GDDY.

Founded in 1997, GoDaddy has led the SMB domain hosting market, managing more than 60 million domains for a range of small merchants.

Yet even with its position as the world's largest domain registrar, GoDaddy's financial situation is less promising. The company lost $143 million last year. Granted that's less than the $200 million it lost in 2013, and the $279 million lost in 2012 -- but GoDaddy admits it hasn't turned a profit since 2009, and that could be troubling for investors.

From the SEC filing:

While we have experienced revenue growth over these same periods, we may not be able to sustain or increase our growth or achieve profitability in the future or on a consistent basis. We have incurred substantial expenses and expended significant resources upfront to market, promote and sell our products.

An interesting point in that statement is the mention of substantial marketing costs. GoDaddy is known for its wonky (and at times controversial) Super Bowl ads and celebrity spokespeople -- which potentially have both helped and harmed the company.

The harm is clearly the hit to its bottom line, but the notoriety it achieved could be a saving grace come IPO time. Unlike the IPO of cloud storage provider Box, which popped and quickly fizzled, GoDaddy could have enough brand recognition to boost its performance with investors.

No date has been set for when GoDaddy makes its Wall Street debut.

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