Verisign (VRSN) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning. They currently have $132.00 target price on the information services provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “VeriSign is primarily driven by an increase in domain name registrations in the United States as well as in international markets. We note that VeriSign holds a prime position in the highly regulated .com and .net domain industry. The renewal of the .com contract and price hikes for the .com and .net domain names will continue to drive VeriSign’s top line. Also, we believe that gTLD prospects, international expansion through IDNs and investments in intellectual properties bode well for long-term growth. Shares outperformed the industry in the past year. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q1 earnings release. However, increasing operating expenses related to sales and marketing remain primary headwind.”
VRSN has been the subject of several other research reports. BidaskClub cut Verisign from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 28th. ValuEngine upgraded Verisign from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase upped their price objective on Verisign to $106.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research report on Monday, February 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $111.40.
Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The information services provider reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by ($0.01). Verisign had a negative return on equity of 36.88% and a net margin of 39.25%. The business had revenue of $295.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $294.93 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.92 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Verisign will post 4.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Verisign announced that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 8th that permits the company to buyback $586.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the information services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of VRSN. Stifel Financial Corp increased its position in Verisign by 3.2% during the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 54,688 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $5,819,000 after acquiring an additional 1,697 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in Verisign by 580.5% during the third quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 20,083 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $2,134,000 after acquiring an additional 17,132 shares during the last quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. purchased a new stake in Verisign during the third quarter valued at $1,305,000. First Republic Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Verisign during the third quarter valued at $240,000. Finally, Vident Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in Verisign during the third quarter valued at $417,000.
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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