VeriSign, Inc. (VRSN) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

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.”

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on shares of VeriSign from $101.00 to $111.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Robert W. Baird restated a hold rating and issued a $105.00 target price on shares of VeriSign in a research note on Thursday, August 31st. BidaskClub upgraded shares of VeriSign from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Saturday, August 26th. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a hold rating and issued a $103.00 target price on shares of VeriSign in a research note on Sunday. One 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 stock. VeriSign presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $106.33.

VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The information services provider reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $292.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $290.90 million. VeriSign had a net margin of 39.79% and a negative return on equity of 36.88%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share.

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In other VeriSign news, Director Kathleen A. Cote sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.94, for a total transaction of $149,910.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 38,294 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,827,102.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Eqis Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in VeriSign during the 2nd quarter valued at $350,000. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in VeriSign during the 2nd quarter valued at $211,000. Federated Investors Inc. PA boosted its stake in VeriSign by 27.4% during the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 15,972 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $1,484,000 after acquiring an additional 3,435 shares during the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. boosted its stake in VeriSign by 10,263.6% during the 2nd quarter. Koch Industries Inc. now owns 875,519 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $866,000 after acquiring an additional 867,071 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in VeriSign by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 290,142 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $26,972,000 after acquiring an additional 4,948 shares during 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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