Verisign Q1 2014 Report: 128.5 million .com and .net domains, 4% increase from Q1 2013

VeriSign, Inc., the global leader in domain names, today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2014.

First Quarter GAAP Financial Results
VeriSign, Inc. and subsidiaries (“Verisign”) reported revenue of $249 million for the first quarter of 2014, up 5 percent from the same quarter in 2013. Verisign reported net income of $94 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.64 for the first quarter of 2014, compared to net income of $85 million and diluted EPS of $0.52 in the same quarter in 2013. The operating margin was 56.1 percent for the first quarter of 2014 compared to 56.4 percent for the same quarter in 2013.

First Quarter Non-GAAP Financial Results
Verisign reported, on a non-GAAP basis, net income of $95 million and diluted EPS of $0.64 for the first quarter of 2014, compared to net income of $94 million and diluted EPS of $0.58 for the same quarter in 2013. The non-GAAP operating margin was 60.1 percent for the first quarter of 2014 compared to 59.6 percent for the same quarter in 2013. A table reconciling the GAAP to the non-GAAP results (which excludes items described below) is appended to this release.

“Results of the first quarter demonstrate the fundamental soundness of our strategy and discipline in execution,” commented Jim Bidzos, executive chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Financial Highlights

  • Verisign ended the first quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of Continue reading

Infographic: 271 million domain names registered worldwide

Here is the infographic Verisign published announcing that 5 million domain names were added to the Internet in Q4 of 2013, bringing the registered domain names to a total of 271 million worldwide. Compared to last year, worldwide registrations have grown by 18.5 million (7.3%): Continue reading

Verisign: 271 million domains worldwide (7.3% increase in 2013)

Verisign today announced that five million domain names were added to the Internet in Q4 of 2013, bringing the registered domain names total to 271 million worldwide. Compared to last year, worldwide registrations have grown by 18.5 million (7.3%).

Think .com is dead? Think again:

  • New .com and .net registrations totaled 8.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 8.0 million in 2012, which is a 5% increase year over year
  • 47.7% of four-character domain names, over 95.3% of five-character domain names and more than 99.8% of six-character domain names are still available as of Dec. 31, 2013

Furthermore, Verisign shared that its average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was 82 billion across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 100 billion. Year over year, the daily average increased 6.4% and the peak decreased 19.2%.

Here is the complete announcement: Continue reading

Verisign 2013 Report: 10% Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth, 127.2 million .com/.net (5% increase)

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the global leader in domain names, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter of 2013 and year ended Dec. 31, 2013.

  • Verisign Registry Services added 1.29 million net new names during the fourth quarter, ending with 127.2 million active domain names in the zone for .com and .net, which represents a 5 percent increase over the zone at the end of the fourth quarter in 2012.
  • In the fourth quarter, Verisign processed 8.2 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net as compared to 8.0 million for the same period in 2012. During 2013, Verisign processed 34.0 million new domain name registrations as compared with 33.1 million for 2012.
  • The final .com and .net renewal rate for the third quarter of 2013 was 72.7 percent compared with 72.5 percent for the same quarter in 2012. Renewal rates are not fully measurable until 45 days after the end of the quarter.

“2013 was a strong year for the company capped by solid performance across several metrics. We recorded double digit revenue growth, increased cash flows, expanded margins, and returned over $1 billion to shareholders in share repurchases while continuing to provide uninterrupted availability of the .com and .net domain name system (DNS) for over 16 years. We look forward to 2014 from a strong position,” commented Jim Bidzos, executive chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Fourth Quarter GAAP Financial Results
VeriSign, Inc. and subsidiaries (“Verisign”) reported revenue of $246 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, up 7 percent from the same quarter in 2012. The operating margin was 53.0 percent for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 58.8 percent for the same quarter in 2012. Verisign reported net income of $292 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.94 for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $106 million and diluted EPS of $0.65 in the same quarter in 2012.

During the fourth quarter of 2013 Verisign liquidated for tax purposes one of its domestic subsidiaries which will allow it to claim a worthless stock deduction on its 2013 federal income tax return. Verisign recorded an income tax benefit during the fourth quarter of 2013 of $375.3 million related to the worthless stock deduction, net of valuation allowances and accrual for uncertain tax positions. The financial statement carrying value of this subsidiary was not material. The worthless stock deduction may be subject to audit and adjustment by the IRS, which could result in reversal of all, part or none of the income tax benefit, or could result in a benefit higher than the net amount recorded. If the IRS rejects or reduces the amount of the income tax benefit related to the worthless stock deduction, Verisign may have to pay additional cash income taxes which could adversely affect its results from operations, financial condition and cash flows. Verisign cannot guarantee what the ultimate outcome or amount of benefit to receive, if any, will be. Verisign also sold certain cost-method investments during the fourth quarter of 2013 and realized a pre-tax, non-operating, gain of $15.8 million.

Verisign evaluated various scenarios for realizing the tax benefits from the worthless stock deduction and determined that using part of the benefit to offset current year domestic income, combined with a repatriation of a portion of the cash held by foreign subsidiaries, as the most financially beneficial alternative. Accordingly, during the second or third quarter of 2014 Verisign intends to repatriate approximately $700 million to $800 million of cash held by foreign subsidiaries, in a tax efficient manner by using the tax benefits resulting from the worthless stock deduction to offset the taxable income generated in the U.S. as a result of the intended repatriation. The repatriation amount utilizes substantially all of the projected available distributable capital reserves of Verisign’s foreign subsidiaries under applicable foreign statutes. During the fourth quarter of 2013, Verisign recorded an income tax expense of $167.1 million related to taxable income generated in the U.S. as a result of the intended repatriation. For funds remaining in the foreign subsidiaries after the intended repatriation that have not been previously taxed in the U.S., Verisign’s intent remains to indefinitely reinvest those funds outside of the U.S. and accordingly Verisign has not provided deferred U.S. taxes.

Results for the fourth quarter of 2013 included the income tax benefit related to the worthless stock deduction, pre-tax non-operating gains from the sale of certain cost-method investments, and income tax expense related to taxable income generated in the U.S. as a result of the intended repatriation, discussed above, which collectively increased net income by $217.8 million and increased diluted EPS by $1.45.

Results for the fourth quarter of 2012 included certain pre-tax benefits as described in the fourth quarter 2012 earnings news release which, together, increased the operating margin by 4.9 percentage points and diluted EPS by $0.07.

Because Verisign has not fully completed the tax provision calculation process, tax provisions for both the fourth quarter and full year 2013 (including the income tax benefit related to the worthless stock deduction and income tax expense related to taxable income generated in the U.S. as a result of the intended repatriation) are still preliminary and therefore GAAP net income and GAAP earnings per share for these periods are also preliminary. Final tax provisions, GAAP net income, and GAAP earnings per share will be included in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, to be filed with the SEC and may differ materially from the amounts reported above.

Fourth Quarter Non-GAAP Financial Results
Verisign reported, on a non-GAAP basis, net income of $98 million and diluted EPS of $0.65 for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $96 million and diluted EPS of $0.59 for the same quarter in 2012. The non-GAAP operating margin was 56.9 percent for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 62.0 percent for the same quarter in 2012. Results for the fourth quarter of 2013 included a pre-tax, non-operating, gain of $15.8 million from the sale of certain cost-method investments which increased non-GAAP net income by $11.4 million and diluted EPS by $0.07.

Non-GAAP results for the fourth quarter of 2012 included certain pre-tax benefits as described in the fourth quarter 2012 earnings news release which, together, increased the non-GAAP operating margin by 4.9 percentage points and diluted EPS by $0.05.

A table reconciling the GAAP to the non-GAAP results (which excludes items described below) is appended to this release.

2013 GAAP Financial Results
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2013, Verisign reported revenue of $965 million, up 10 percent from $874 million in 2012. Verisign reported net income of $544 million and diluted EPS of $3.49 in 2013, compared to net income of $320 million and diluted EPS of $1.95 in 2012. The operating margin for 2013 was 54.7 percent compared to 52.4 percent in 2012. Results for 2013 included the income tax benefit recognized during the fourth quarter related to the worthless stock deduction, a pre-tax non-operating gain from the sale of certain cost-method investments, and income tax expense related to taxable income generated in the U.S. as a result of an intended repatriation in 2014 which collectively increased net income by $217.8 million and increased diluted EPS by $1.39.

2013 Non-GAAP Financial Results
Verisign reported, on a non-GAAP basis, net income of $374 million and diluted EPS of $2.40 for 2013, compared to net income of $322 million and diluted EPS of $1.97 in 2012. The non-GAAP operating margin for 2013 was 58.5 percent compared to 56.2 percent in 2012. Results for 2013 included a pre-tax, non-operating gain of $15.8 million recognized during the fourth quarter from the sale of certain cost-method investments which increased non-GAAP net income by $11.4 million and diluted EPS by $0.07.

A table reconciling the GAAP to the non-GAAP results (which excludes items described below) is appended to this release.

“I’m pleased with the hard work of our team which has culminated in recording a tax benefit during the fourth quarter, that we intend to use, in part, to repatriate a significant portion of our foreign domiciled cash,” stated George Kilguss III, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Financial Highlights

  • Verisign ended the fourth quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.7 billion, an increase of $167 million from year-end 2012.
  • Cash flow from operations was $147 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 and $579 million for the full year 2013 compared with $171 million for the same quarter in 2012 and $538 million for the full year 2012.
  • Deferred revenues on Dec. 31, 2013, totaled $856 million, an increase of $43 million from year-end 2012.
  • Capital expenditures were $15 million in the fourth quarter and $66 million for the full year.
  • During the fourth quarter, Verisign repurchased 4.1 million shares of its common stock for $225 million. During the full year 2013, Verisign repurchased 21 million shares of its common stock for $1 billion.
  • On Jan. 31, 2014, the Board of Directors approved an additional authorization for share repurchases of approximately $528 million of common stock, which brings the total amount to $1 billion authorized and available under Verisign’s share buyback program, which has no expiration.
  • For purposes of calculating diluted EPS, the fourth quarter diluted share count included 13.7 million shares related to subordinated convertible debentures, compared with 6.4 million shares in the same quarter in 2012. These represent diluted shares and not shares that have been issued.

Business Highlights

  • Verisign Registry Services added 1.29 million net new names during the fourth quarter, ending with 127.2 million active domain names in the zone for .com and .net, which represents a 5 percent increase over the zone at the end of the fourth quarter in 2012.
  • In the fourth quarter, Verisign processed 8.2 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net as compared to 8.0 million for the same period in 2012. During 2013, Verisign processed 34.0 million new domain name registrations as compared with 33.1 million for 2012.
  • The final .com and .net renewal rate for the third quarter of 2013 was 72.7 percent compared with 72.5 percent for the same quarter in 2012. Renewal rates are not fully measurable until 45 days after the end of the quarter.

Non-GAAP Items
Non-GAAP financial results exclude the following items that are included under GAAP: Discontinued operations, stock-based compensation, amortization of other intangible assets, impairments of goodwill and other intangible assets, restructuring charges, contingent interest payments to holders of the subordinated convertible debentures, unrealized gain/loss on contingent interest derivative on subordinated convertible debentures, and non-cash interest expense. Non-GAAP financial information is also adjusted for a 28 percent tax rate starting from the third quarter of 2012, and 30 percent for all other periods presented herein, both of which differ from the GAAP tax rate. A table reconciling the GAAP to non-GAAP operating income and net income is appended to this release.

Today’s Conference Call
Verisign will host a live conference call today at 4:30 p.m. (EST) to review the fourth quarter and full year 2013 results. The call will be accessible by direct dial at (888) 676-VRSN (U.S.) or (913) 312-1488 (international), conference ID: Verisign. A listen-only live web cast of the conference call and accompanying slide presentation will also be available at http://investor.verisign.com. An audio archive of the call will be available at https://investor.verisign.com/events.cfm. This news release and the financial information discussed on today’s conference call are available at http://investor.verisign.com.

About Verisign
As the global leader in domain names, Verisign powers the invisible navigation that takes people to where they want to go on the Internet. For more than 15 years, Verisign has operated the infrastructure for a portfolio of top-level domains that today includes .com, .net, .tv, .edu, .gov, .jobs, .name and .cc, as well as two of the world’s 13 Internet root servers. Verisign’s product suite also includes Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection Services, iDefense Security Intelligence Services and Managed DNS. To learn more about what it means to be Powered by Verisign, please visit VerisignInc.com.

.net price goes up on February 1st, 2014 – Renew your .net domain names today!

.Net wholesale price goes up once again on February 1st, 2014. That means you have less than 24 hours to renew your .net domain names for 1 to 10 years so you can save a few $.

.net wholesale price increased on January 15th 2012. Price went up 10%: from $4.65 to $5.11. The .net price also increased to $5.62 on July 1, 2013 and will increase again tomorrow. From $5.62 price will go up to $6.18 on February 1st, 2014.

Since the registry .com price stays at $7.85 until November 30th, 2018 (when Verisign .com contract expires) you can expect Verisign to increase the .net domain name price whenever they are allowed to.

Verisign is allowed by it’s contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to increase the registry price for .net 10% every year. I believe that Verisign’s target is to reach the .net price at $8.20 until 2017. That will be higher that the current .com price that will stay at $7.85 until 2018.

All fees don’t include the ICANN fee and are wholesale prices from Verisign to the registrars.

Entrepreneur and Verisign present the top 100 .net websites: slideshare.net, php.net, battle.net

Entrepreneur and Verisign assembled a ranking that measures the top sites on the web with the .net domain extension. Ranking is based on quantitative factors (traffic and social metrics) and the feedback and votes from Entrepreneur’s audience of business owners.

Here are the top 10 .net websites:

Rank Website Facebook Likes Klout Score * Alexa Rank *
1 slideshare.net 313,900 84 118
php.net 433,568 65 230
3 battle.net 2,242,263 69 548
4 behance.net 271,490 83 600
5 speedtest.net 123,840 80 370
6 explosm.net 3,351,735 79 3,933
7 sourceforge.net 16,929 85 161
8 americanapparel.net 1,511,953 83 6,913
9 slickdeals.net 109,047 68 708
10 docusign.net 52,572 68 5,607

You can see all 100 .net websites here.

Verisign Q1 2013 Report: net 1.99 million more .com/.net, 8.8 million new registrations, 15% revenue growth

VeriSign, Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Verisign got a 15% year-over-year revenue growth in Q1 2013. The domain related numbers are:

  • Verisign Registry Services added 1.99 million net new names and ended the first quarter with 123.1 million active domain names in the zone for .com and .net, representing a 5.5 percent increase year over year.
  • In the first quarter, Verisign processed 8.8 million new domain name registrations as compared to 8.9 million for the same quarter a year prior.

To make a comparison with Q4 2012, Verisign Registry Services only added 1.25 million net new names in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the new .com and .net registrations totaled 7.9 million. It seems that 2013 started with a bang…

Here is the complete report:

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the global leader in domain names, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

First Quarter GAAP Financial Results
VeriSign, Inc., and subsidiaries (“Verisign”) reported revenue of $236 million for the first quarter of 2013, up 15 percent from the same quarter in 2012. Verisign reported net income of $85 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.52 for the first quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $68 million and diluted EPS of $0.42 in the same quarter in 2012. The operating margin was 56.4 percent for the first quarter of 2013 compared to 48.1 percent for the same quarter in 2012.

First Quarter Non-GAAP Financial Results
Verisign reported, on a non-GAAP basis, net income of $94 million and diluted EPS of $0.58 for the first quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $68 million and diluted EPS of $0.42 for the same quarter in 2012. The non-GAAP operating margin was 59.6 percent for the first quarter of 2013 compared to 51.9 percent for the same quarter in 2012. A table reconciling the GAAP to the non-GAAP results (which excludes items described below) is appended to this release.

“The first quarter demonstrates our continued focus and discipline in the execution of our strategic framework,” commented Jim Bidzos, executive chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“We are pleased with the successful completion of our $750 million senior unsecured notes offering,” stated George Kilguss III, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Financial Highlights

  • On April 16, 2013, Verisign issued $750 million of 4.625% Senior Notes due May 2023. Verisign used a portion of the proceeds from the offering to repay the $100 million in outstanding indebtedness under its existing revolving credit facility and intends to use the remaining amount for general corporate purposes, including, but not limited to, the repurchase of shares under its share repurchase program.
  • Verisign ended the first quarter with Cash, Cash Equivalents, Marketable Securities and Restricted Cash of $1.57 billion, an increase of $9 million from year-end 2012.
  • Cash flow from operations was $151 million for the first quarter compared with $110 million for the same quarter in 2012.
  • Deferred revenues on March 31, 2013, totaled $847 million, an increase of $34 million from year-end 2012.
  • Capital expenditures were $17 million in the first quarter of 2013.
  • During the first quarter, Verisign repurchased approximately 3.0 million shares of its common stock for a cost of approximately $132 million. At March 31, 2013, approximately $844 million remained available and authorized under the current share repurchase program.
  • For purposes of calculating diluted EPS, the first quarter diluted share count included 7.9 million shares related to the subordinated convertible debentures, compared with 2.5 million shares in the same quarter in 2012. These represent diluted shares and not shares that have been issued.
  • Due to the stock price exceeding the subordinated convertible debentures trigger price during the first quarter of 2013, holders have the option to convert the debentures into common stock during the second quarter of 2013. Consequently, the debt component of the subordinated convertible debentures, the related embedded derivative, and deferred tax liability were reclassified from long-term liabilities to current liabilities, while the associated unamortized debt issuance costs were reclassified from long-term assets to current assets, as of March 31, 2013.

Business Highlights

  • Verisign Registry Services added 1.99 million net new names and ended the first quarter with 123.1 million active domain names in the zone for .com and .net, representing a 5.5 percent increase year over year.
  • In the first quarter, Verisign processed 8.8 million new domain name registrations as compared to 8.9 million for the same quarter a year prior.

Non-GAAP Items
Non-GAAP financial results exclude the following items that are included under GAAP: discontinued operations, stock-based compensation, amortization of other intangible assets, impairments of goodwill and other intangible assets, restructuring charges, contingent interest payments to holders of the subordinated convertible debentures, unrealized gain/loss on contingent interest derivative on subordinated convertible debentures, and non-cash interest expense. Non-GAAP financial information is also adjusted for a 28 percent tax rate starting from the third quarter of 2012, and 30 percent for the other periods presented herein, both of which differ from the GAAP tax rate. A table reconciling the GAAP to non-GAAP operating income and net income is appended to this release.

About Verisign
As the global leader in domain names, Verisign powers the invisible navigation that takes people to where they want to go on the Internet. For more than 15 years, Verisign has operated the infrastructure for a portfolio of top-level domains that today include .com, .net, .tv, .edu, .gov, .jobs, .name and .cc, as well as two of the world’s 13 Internet root servers. Verisign’s product suite also includes Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection Services, iDefense Security Intelligence Services and Managed DNS. To learn more about what it means to be Powered by Verisign, please visit VerisignInc.com.

Verisign’s 2012 Q4 Domain Data: 252 million domains worldwide, 121 million .com and .net (INFOGRAPHIC)

Yesterday, Verisign released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which showed that the Internet grew by more than six million domain names in the fourth quarter of 2012. The total number of registered domain names now stands at more than 252 million, which represents a 2.5 percent growth rate over the third quarter of 2012. This marks the eighth straight quarter with greater than 2 percent growth.

More than six million domain names were added to the Internet in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of registered domain names as of Dec. 31, 2012, to more than 252 million worldwide across all Top-Level Domains (TLDs), according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief.

The order of the top TLDs in terms of zone size changed slightly when compared to the third quarter. In Q4’2012, the largest TLDs in terms of base size were, in order: .com, .de (Germany), .net, .tk (Tokelau), .uk (United Kingdom), .org, .cn (China),  .info,.nl (Netherlands) and .ru (Russian Federation).

The base of Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) was 110.2 million domain names, a 5 percent increase quarter over quarter, and a 21.6 percent increase year over year in the base.

The .com and .net TLD registrations experienced a 6.4 percent increase over Q4’2011, bringing the combined total number of domain names in the adjusted zone to approximately 121.1 million. New .com and .net registrations totaled 8.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2011, new .com and .net registrations totaled 7.9 million.

The .com and .net renewal rate for the third quarter of 2012 was 72.9 percent, up from 72.5 percent in the third quarter of 2012.

Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load during the fourth quarter of 2012 was 77 billion, across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 123 billion. Compared to the third quarter of 2012, the daily average increased 16 percent and the peak increased 20.4 percent.

The order of the top TLDs in terms of zone size changed slightly when compared to the third quarter, as .cn (China) moved up a ranking from the eighth largest TLD to the seventh largest TLD, resulting in .info moving down one ranking. All other TLDs in the top 10 maintained their rankings.

infographic-dnib-april2013The latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief also offers a high-level overview of the challenges and opportunities that big data presents companies of all sizes. “Big Data Can Pose Big Challenges, and Opportunities, for Organizations” also includes a synopsis of the data generated within the DNS, and how companies could use this data to inform business strategy and possibly improve network security.

Not everything is about .COM

.COM is king but not everything is about .com. There are still many opportunities in other gTLDs and ccTLDs. I had an intense 24 hours in domaining and my day didn’t involve too much of .com.

At first I got a call from one of the top 5 companies in the world (US based) that wanted to buy one of my .info domain names. My wife answered the call and gave me the phone to talk. The caller only told me his name, so I didn’t know for what company he was working for at that time. When he told what domain name he was interested in I knew he wouldn’t like my price. I can’t disclose the domain name but it wouldn’t be so hard to guess.

I asked him if he had an offer and he said that he wanted to hear my price first. I started telling him that I have declined a lot of 5 figure offers for this domain in the past few years. He interrupted me and told me that he only had an offer for $5,000 USD. So we left it at that and hung up. Don’t think for a moment that the 5 figure offers were a sales pitch. I have actually received these offers.

Then I got back on my PC only to find an email that the caller had send before he called me. He had send the same offer but it was then when the company he was working for was revealed. I didn’t know the company when I talked to him on the phone but my price was and is going to be the same. No matter who calls, my price will be the same for this particular domain. I don’t think this is over just yet…

On the same day I got an offer through DomainNameSales.com for a .org domain from one of the largest and most known UK associations. They are interested in buying a .org domain name I own.

Again on the same day I sold a .net domain at Sedo to a US individual and got a decent offer on a 3 letter .biz domain.

Finally I got an inquiry for a 3 letter .org that I am not willing to sell as it relates to my wife’s line of work. I am currently negotiating a lease for this domain.

And because most of the domains above haven’t produced any results yet here is what domains I have sold so far this year:
3 .com
3 .info
2 .org
1 .net
1 .us

All sales were for $1500 and up and only 4 of the 10 domain sales have been reported. All the others were private.

I must admit that I have a pretty diverse portfolio and that my .info portfolio is at least above average but my results must be very interesting. Don’t you think?

.COM is king and will be for many years to come but not everything is about .com.

Verisign Declines Voluntary Participation in the .net Contractual Compliance Audit Requested by ICANN

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) requested from Verisign (the .com and .net registry operator) a contractual compliance audit for the .net TLD.

With a letter dated 8 of January 2013 to ICANN, Verisign declined the invitation to coluntarily participate in  the audit. Verisign explained that it has no obligations under its .net registry agreement with ICANN to comply with the proposed audit. So absent such express constractual obligations. Verisign will not submit itself to an audit by or at the direction of ICANN of its books and records.

Verisign says that it will welcome the opportunity yo cooperate with ICANN in the future in any audits of TLDs operated by Verisign for which the applicable registry agreement contains sufficient audit rights.

It seems that Verisign is a bit defensive after the .com registry renewal that will not allow Verisign to increace the .com price for the next 6 years.