D. James Bidzos
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at VeriSign
Thanks David. Good afternoon to everyone and thank you for joining us. Last quarter, we acknowledged the uncertainty that macroeconomic and other challenges presented and we said that we would focus on what was within our ability to control. We also indicated what that meant. First, maintaining operating and investing in our critical infrastructure, next exercising careful expense control where appropriate. Additionally, it meant keeping our capital allocation activities focused on building and efficiently returning long-term shareholder value.
During the third quarter we extended our record of uninterrupted DNS availability for.com and.net to over 25 years, also during the third quarter -- sorry, also during the third quarter we grew our revenues by 6.8% year-over-year and our EPS by 12.9% year-over-year. Our financial and liquidity position remain stable with $980 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at the end-of-the quarter. During the third quarter we repurchased 1.5 million shares for $275 million. Effective today, the Board of Directors has increased the amount authorized for share repurchase of VeriSign common stock by approximately $803 million to a total of $1 billion authorized and available under the share repurchase program, which has no expiration.
At the end of September, the domain name base in.com and.net totaled 174.2 million domain names with a year-over-year growth rate of 1.2%. In the third quarter there were 9.9 million new registrations, compared to 10.1 million last quarter and 10.7 million in the year-ago quarter and while there are many factors that drive demand for domain names, we have seen lower new registrations in the first three-quarters of this, year as a result of factors that I have already mentioned in prior calls. These include a pandemic driven acceleration of new registrations in 2020 and 2021 which has subsided, recent global macroeconomic headwinds and reduced new registrations from China.
We believe that the renewal rate for the third quarter of 2022 will be approximately 73.8%, same as the 73.8% final renewal rate last quarter which compares to 75% a year-ago. The renewal rate for previously renewed names has remained similar year-over-year and the first time renewal rates, while similar to last quarter are lower year-over-year, predominantly due to a greater proportion of names renewing from China that were registered last year. We do see some signs that new registrations, while still slow, continue to stabilize towards pre pandemic levels.
That said current global economic and geopolitical conditions continued to introduce uncertainty through the remainder of 2022, because of this macro uncertainty we are adjusting our 2022 domain name base guidance and now expect the domain name base growth rate of between 0.25% and 1%. Turning to.web, the parties made their submissions to ICANN during Q3 and we are now waiting for ICANN to complete its process.
Now, I'd like to turn the call over to George. I'll return when George has completed his financial report with closing remarks.