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Cloud Stocks: Will GoDaddy Follow the PaaS Route?

Posted on Friday, Mar 22nd 2019

According to a Market Research Engine report published earlier last year, the global internet domain name system market is expected to grow 13% annually through to 2024. GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY), an internet domain marketplace focused on small businesses, professionals, and individuals, recently announced its fourth quarter results that surpassed market expectations.

GoDaddy’s Financials

For the quarter, GoDaddy’s revenues grew 16% to $695.8 million, ahead of the market’s forecast of $693.2 million. Total bookings grew 11% to $732.4 million. It ended the quarter with a net income of $43.5 million. On an adjusted basis, it reported a net income of $0.28 per share which was significantly better than the market’s forecast of $0.13 per share and previous year’s income of $0.11 per share.

By segment, GoDaddy saw Domain revenues climb 12% to $314.3 million. Hosting and Presence revenues grew 18% to $270 million and Business Applications revenues grew 22% to $111.5 million.

Among other metrics, it ended the year with its customer base growing 7% to 18.5 million. It also reported a 7% increase in average revenue per user to $148. Its international revenues grew 16% to $240.3 million.

GoDaddy ended the year with revenues of $2.66 billion and a net income of $77.1 million, or $0.45 per share.

For the current quarter, it expects revenues of $705-$715 million. It forecast revenues of $2.97-$3 billion for the year. The Street was looking for revenues of $717.07 million for the quarter and $2.98 billion for the year.

GoDaddy’s Product Growth

GoDaddy is focusing on the customer and product experience and a go-to-market strategy. In 2017, GoDaddy launched its mobile-friendly DIY website builder GoCentral. During 2018, it added to GoCentral’s capabilities by integrating it across several relevant third-party platforms. It also added a number of product functions to help drive usage. The platform that GoDaddy has built now allows everyday entrepreneurs to create robust websites and syndicate marketing across the social reputation and e-commerce landscape. While GoCentral is GoDaddy’s flagship DIY product, it is also making significant improvements in its WordPress offering.

Nearly a third of the Internet is already built using the WordPress framework. GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress offering automates the process of starting and maintaining a secure WordPress website and is helping GoDaddy drive subscriptions revenues.

GoDaddy’s second focus area is go-to-market. During the current year, it plans to continue to build on the brand. It is investing in brand promotion and is starting the campaign by promoting its influencers such as Ayesha Curry in its new Homemade brand. Besides icons, GoDaddy is also building a network of vertical-specific influencers who are experts in their trade.

GoDaddy has been steadily integrating several technologies as part of its product innovation. Its hosting services are supported by a single automated infrastructure built on OpenStack. Its Platform-as-a-Service capability provides customers with an integrated set of services that enable them to build and deploy new products quickly and easily. It also uses open source Apache Hadoop to store and process data it collects through web crawling, local listings, social, and mobile platforms to provide business intelligence to its customers.

GoDaddy has built its platform to become the world’s largest cloud platform that is focused on SMBs and entrepreneurs. But it does not have a strong PaaS strategy as yet. If GoDaddy is looking for growth through acquisitions in the future, it will need to focus on developing a more comprehensive PaaS offering.

GoDaddy was privately held since it was founded in 1997. Its funding details are not disclosed. In 2011, KKR, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) are estimated to have spent $2.25 billion to buy a majority stake in the company. It tried to go public in 2006 and then again in 2014. It finally went public in March 2015. It raised $460 million when it sold its shares at $20 each. The company was valued at $4.5 billion at the time of listing.

Its stock is trading at $75.93 with a market capitalization of $13.6 billion. It touched a 52-week high of $84.97 in September last year. Like a lot of other technology stocks, GoDaddy’s stock had also fallen to a low of $56.67 in December last year.

This segment is a part in the series : Cloud Stocks

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