Verisign (VRSN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “VeriSign reported solid fourth-quarter 2018 results. Both revenues and earnings increased on a year-over-year basis. Revenue growth was driven by growth in .com and .net domain name registrations. Notably, per the recently amended cooperative agreement between the company and the U.S. Commerce Department, VeriSign has the flexibility to pursue with ICANN an up to 7% increase in prices for .com domain names in each of the last four years of each six-year period of the registry agreement. Moreover, the divestiture of customer contracts of its Security Services business to NeuStar will help VeriSign to focus on core operations. Shares have outperformed the industry in the past year.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Verisign from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, October 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Verisign from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and increased their target price for the stock from $125.00 to $160.00 in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Robert W. Baird upgraded shares of Verisign from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and increased their target price for the stock from $160.00 to $170.00 in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Finally, Citigroup increased their target price on shares of Verisign from $152.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $167.00.

Shares of VRSN stock opened at $170.53 on Monday. Verisign has a one year low of $109.20 and a one year high of $176.76. The company has a market capitalization of $20.93 billion, a PE ratio of 35.90 and a beta of 1.00.

Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 7th. The information services provider reported $1.58 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.37. Verisign had a net margin of 47.94% and a negative return on equity of 42.50%. The firm had revenue of $307.45 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $308.64 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.96 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts anticipate that Verisign will post 4.76 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Verisign news, EVP Thomas C. Indelicarto sold 3,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.81, for a total transaction of $497,673.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 55,871 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,425,905.51. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.35% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VRSN. Capital International Investors acquired a new stake in Verisign during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $991,190,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its holdings in shares of Verisign by 41,120.7% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,763,452 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $25,000 after purchasing an additional 3,754,322 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in shares of Verisign by 4.5% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 11,368,270 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $1,820,286,000 after purchasing an additional 485,685 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Verisign by 4.5% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 11,368,270 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $1,820,286,000 after purchasing an additional 485,685 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cantillon Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Verisign by 41.3% in the 4th quarter. Cantillon Capital Management LLC now owns 1,562,701 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $231,733,000 after purchasing an additional 456,587 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 95.81% of the company’s stock.

About Verisign

VeriSign, Inc provides domain name registry services and Internet security worldwide. The company offers registry services that operate the authoritative directory of .com, .net, .cc, .tv, .gov, .jobs, .edu, .name, and other domain names. Its registry services allow individuals and organizations to establish their online identities.

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