Web.com Group Inc (WWWW): Is Ahmet Okumus Right Being Bullish on the Stock?

As a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed, Ahmet Okumus‘ fund, Okumus Fund Management, raised its position in Web.com Group Inc (NASDAQ:WWWW) by acquiring 76,266 shares. Okumus acquired the shares in one transaction, paying $19.99 per unit. Following the increase, Okumus’ stake amasses roughly 7.17 million shares of Web.com Group, the stake being equal to 13.76% of the company’s common stock.

Web.com Group Inc (NASDAQ:WWWW)

Web.com Group Inc (NASDAQ:WWWW) is engaged in providing domain name registration and helping small and medium businesses with web-solutions such as website design, search engine optimization, marketing, social media and mobile products among other services. The stock of the company lost over 37% year-to-date, one of the main reasons being Google’s entering into domain registration segment also for SMB. With Google having more resources, it might represent a dangerous competitor to Web.com Group. However, it might happen that investors simply overreacting, like it often happens when a company is threatened by more competition, especially when this competition is a giant like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL).

Moreover, as the CEO of the company, David Brown said during the conference call (according to the transcript), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s entrance into the domain business will help Web.com Group Inc (NASDAQ:WWWW) in long-term. Web.com is the only domain registrar and hosting provider that is partnered with Google AdWords Premier SMB. At the same time, the company is working with Google to sell over 100 new domain extensions.

Another factor that should be taken into account is that the domain segment is already highly competitive and Web.com Group Inc (NASDAQ:WWWW) has been performing very well so far, managing to outperform most of its competitors. The company managed to grow significantly its revenues over the last several quarters and narrowed its net loss, which totalled $304,000 in the first six months of 2014, versus $56.25 million for the same period of last year.

Earlier in September, the company announced that it secured two new credit facilities, which will offer Web.com Group Inc (NASDAQ:WWWW) one $200 million secured loan and $150 million secured revolving line of credit. The credit facilities that will mature in 2019, will offer the company the possibility to strenghten its balance sheet.

Other investors’ opinions regarding the company are divided. Among the funds that we track, the majority of Web.com shareholders did not allocate a large portion of their equity portfolios to the company. However, Craig C. Albert‘s Sheffield Asset Management owns around 2.17 million shares of Web.com Group Inc (NASDAQ:WWWW), the stake amassing over 7% of the fund’s equity portfolio. Israel Englander also seems to be bullish on the company, raising Millennium Management’s position by 1,400% to 306,900 shares held as of the end of June. On the other hand, Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies decreased its exposure by 30% over the quarter to 540,100 shares.

Ahmet Okumus is a notorious person on the Street his former fund Okumus Capital having a solid performance and returning around 30% since its inception in 1997. However, with the financial crisis in 2008, Okumus mainly-long strategy was ineffective against the panic and emotions that ruled the market and Okumus had to close his firm with over $900 million in assets.

Disclosure: none

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