The IPOs keep coming; this time it’s GoDaddy

<p>US-based domain name registration and web hosting player, GoDaddy, filed paperwork for an initial public offering yesterday (9th June), though it’s not the company’s first […]</p>

US-based domain name registration and web hosting player, GoDaddy, filed paperwork for an initial public offering yesterday (9th June), though it’s not the company’s first time.

Indeed, GoDaddy filed to go public back in May 2006, but the company subsequently ditched its plans due to “unfavorable market conditions”. Of course, a return to those plans by the company has long since been anticipated.

GoDaddy‘s IPO prospectus indicates that it’s looking to raise $100m – but that figure is widely believed to be a placeholder – part of which it intends to use to repay a portion of its debt.

Is there anything to like about GoDaddy?

Sure. For starters, the company, which claims to be the global market leader in domain name registration – with some 57 million domains under management, as at December – is growing its customer base at a relatively decent pace.

By the way, that figure of 57 million represents around 21% of the world’s domains, according the company’s prospectus.

As at March this year, GoDaddy had around 12 million customers, up from last year’s figure of some 10.2 million, which itself was up around 9% over the previous year.

That’s certainly evident in the company’s top line: for its year ended December 2013, GoDaddy took revenue of around $1.1bn, representing a 24% increase over the previous year. The momentum has carried on into this year.

The company posted revenue of around $320m for the three months ended 31st March, up from $263m in the same period last year. By business, revenue from its core Domains division grew 14% to $181m, and its Hosting business saw around a 33% top-line growth at $116m.

But, there’s a but…

According to GoDaddy, “we have a history of operating losses and may not be able to achieve profitability in the future”.

Yep, that much is apparent. The company made a net loss of some $200m for its fiscal 2013, which admittedly was narrower than 2012’s net loss of $279m. And for its quarter ended March, the loss was some $51m versus around $52m in the same period last year.

That said, despite the reported accounting losses, the company is generating cash: adjusting for several factors including change in deferred revenue, GoDaddy made an EBITDA of some $199m in 2013 (up from $174m) and around $80m in the first quarter (up from $60m).

Still, other potential concerns exist. This includes the company’s plan to have two classes of shares: members of its board of directors will hold one class (Class B) and essentially have “more than a majority” of control. In other words, new investors would have little say.

On balance however, there’s stuff to like about the company and it will likely generate some interest from investors.

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