Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday. The firm currently has $102.00 target price on the information services provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “We believe that VeriSign is well positioned to benefit from strong growth in both developed and emerging economies. The renewal of the .com contract and price hikes for the .com and .net domain names remain primary growth drivers. We also remain optimistic about VeriSign’s Security services business. However, we believe the company can be affected by the impact of search engine adjustments on domain monetization, rising expenses and increasing competition. Notably, shares have underperformed the broader market on a year-to-date basis.”
Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Cowen and Company increased their target price on VeriSign from $89.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Robert W. Baird reissued a neutral rating and issued a $85.00 target price on shares of VeriSign in a report on Tuesday, February 28th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. raised VeriSign from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $87.80.
VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) opened at 93.65 on Wednesday. VeriSign has a 52 week low of $74.01 and a 52 week high of $93.92. The company has a market capitalization of $9.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.45 and a beta of 1.24. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $90.71 and its 200-day moving average price is $85.09.
VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The information services provider reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86. VeriSign had a negative return on equity of 36.75% and a net margin of 39.13%. The business had revenue of $288.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $284.70 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.85 EPS. VeriSign’s quarterly revenue was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that VeriSign will post $3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in VeriSign by 1,765.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,706,691 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $671,330,000 after buying an additional 7,293,666 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in VeriSign during the fourth quarter worth $91,110,000. Gruss Capital Management LP boosted its stake in VeriSign by 340.0% in the first quarter. Gruss Capital Management LP now owns 880,000 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $76,657,000 after buying an additional 680,000 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio boosted its stake in VeriSign by 341.2% in the first quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 374,574 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $32,629,000 after buying an additional 289,680 shares in the last quarter. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd boosted its stake in VeriSign by 147.8% in the first quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 327,756 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $25,644,000 after buying an additional 195,478 shares in the last quarter.
VeriSign, Inc is a provider of domain name registry services and Internet security. The Company operates through Registry Services and Security Services segment. Registry Services ensure the security, stability and resiliency of Internet infrastructure and services, including the .com and .net domains, and operation of the root-zone maintainer functions for the core of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS).
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