Verisign Q3 results top expectations, raises year outlook as pandemic increases Internet activity

Registrations of new domain names in .com and .net increased in the quarter thanks in part to the lockdown prompting increased Internet usage overall.

VeriSign, the Reston, Virginia-based company that runs the global database of principal domain names on the Internet, this afternoon reported Q3 revenue that topped analysts' expectations, and profit well ahead of consensus, and raised its forecast for the full year, citing increased Internet activity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

VeriSign stock declined by 2% in late trading following the report. 

Revenue rose 3.1%, year over year, to $317.9 million, yielding EPS of $1.49 a share. 

That compares to consensus for $316.07 million and $1.35 per share.

The company said it handled registrations for 10.9 million new domain names for .com and .net, up from the year-earlier period total of 9.9 million new domains. Total domain name registrations in VeriSign's database for .com and .net at quarter's end stood at 163.7 million, up 4% from the prior-year quarter. 

CEO Jim Bidzos said business in the quarter reflected increased Internet usage prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Internet usage has increased during the pandemic and reliance on online services, even more so for many people who are working from home and isolating at home," said Bidzos, in prepared remarks. 

"Online services are critical and more businesses and individuals than ever depend on internet infrastructure for their livelihood."

For the full year, the company raised its outlook for revenue to a range of $1.26 billion to $1.267 billion, up from the prior forecast for $1.255 billion to $1.265 billion. The new forecast is ahead of Wall Street's consensus for $1.26 billion.