VeriSign, Inc. (VRSN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “VeriSign reported better-than-expected third-quarter 2017 results, which also improved year over year. However, rising operating expenses related to sales and marketing will remain an overhang on margins. The negative impact of search engine adjustments on domain monetization is also a headwind. Additionally, overall renewal rate for domains have been softening, especially for first-time renewals, which will continue to affect its top-line growth. However, rise in domain name registrations in the United States as well as in international markets is a tailwind for the company. Also, we believe that gTLD prospects, international expansion through IDNs and investments in intellectual properties bode well for long-term growth. Shares have also outperformed the industry in the past one year.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on the company. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $103.00 price target on shares of VeriSign in a research report on Sunday. Citigroup Inc. raised their price target on VeriSign from $101.00 to $111.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Robert W. Baird set a $105.00 price target on VeriSign and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, BidaskClub raised VeriSign from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $106.33.

VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) traded up 1.40% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $109.03. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 439,586 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $106.99 and its 200-day moving average is $98.06. The firm has a market cap of $10.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.72 and a beta of 1.19. VeriSign has a 52 week low of $75.71 and a 52 week high of $110.82.

VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The information services provider reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $292.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $290.90 million. VeriSign had a negative return on equity of 36.88% and a net margin of 39.79%. VeriSign’s revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that VeriSign will post $4.00 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Kathleen A. Cote sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.94, for a total transaction of $149,910.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 38,294 shares in the company, valued at $3,827,102.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Eqis Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of VeriSign during the second quarter worth about $350,000. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of VeriSign during the second quarter worth about $211,000. Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its holdings in shares of VeriSign by 27.4% during the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 15,972 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $1,484,000 after buying an additional 3,435 shares in the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. grew its holdings in shares of VeriSign by 10,263.6% during the second quarter. Koch Industries Inc. now owns 875,519 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $866,000 after buying an additional 867,071 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. grew its holdings in shares of VeriSign by 1.7% during the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 290,142 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $26,972,000 after buying an additional 4,948 shares in the last quarter.

VeriSign Company Profile

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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