Blake Irving, Chief Executive Officer of GoDaddy, on the first day shares in his company traded publicly
Photograph by Brendan McDermid — Reuters
By Kia Kokalitcheva
May 13, 2015

Fresh off his first quarterly earnings call as the head of a newly public company, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving sounds relieved as he musters up an enthusiastic tone. GoDaddy didn’t quite meet expectations, but wasn’t a disaster either.

In its first quarter in 2015, GoDaddy posted $376.3 million in revenue, and a loss of 34 cents per share. Analysts expected revenue of $374.5 million and a loss of 34 cents per share.

The company made it debut on the New York Stock Exchange on April 1, after a multi-year wait. It initially filed to go public in 2006, but withdrew the paperwork because founder and then-CEO Bob Parsons wasn’t a fan of the SEC’s “quiet period” rule for companies going public.

GoDaddy’s pesky loss of $43.3 million during the first quarter is indeed a fat blemish on its first earnings results, although Irving isn’t too bothered by it. “Eventually that’ll disappear,” he told Fortune during a brief interview following the earnings call. Moreover, GoDaddy’s free cash flow is how he believes the company’s investors are evaluating it, and GoDaddy’s doing well on that front with $85.1 million in free cash flow at the moment.

But of course, that loss won’t disappear on its own, and GoDaddy’s taking steps to adjust its spending. Last month, it announced it would end its NASCAR sponsorship after the 2015 season, leaving race car driver Danica Patrick searching for a new sponsor.

Instead of spending a significant amount of cash (Irving declined to share how much the company poured into the deal) on NASCAR, GoDaddy will be “redeploying marketing costs in ways that we think are more effective for us as a business,” Irving said.

International growth is one of the major areas GoDaddy will continue to invest in instead, he added. This quarter, $95.9 million in revenue came from overseas, making up more than a quarter of the company’s total revenue. It’s a share that Irving believes will likely grow given the number of small businesses — GoDaddy’s target customer — around the world. GoDaddy made its name from selling Internet website domains, but has since added web hosting services and bevy of other small business-centric tools like hosting and managing WordPress-based sites and email marketing.

And unlike most other companies chasing large enterprises’ dollars, GoDaddy isn’t very interested, as Irving emphasized.

“We do not do a lot of business with the enterprise,” he said. “The uniqueness of this very small customer is where we do our best work,” he said.

Irving also talked about the Internet on mobile devices, an idea that wasn’t even reality when GoDaddy was founded in 1997. But since then, it has become so important that search engine Google recently tweaked its algorithms to favor websites that are designed to be easily read on the small screens people carry in their pockets. GoDaddy is of course helping its customers not fall behind, advocating that they follow mobile-friendly practices, and steering them away from building native mobile apps that Irving says are too much of a headache and costly for small businesses. His customers don’t have a lot of cash to spend their websites, as shown by GoDaddy’s average revenue per user of $115.

(Correction: Because of an error by a data source, an earlier version of this story misstated the analyst estimates for GoDaddy’s quarterly profit. The estimate was for a 34 cent loss, which GoDaddy met.)

For more about GoDaddy, watch this Fortune video:


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