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

According to Zacks, “VeriSign has underperformed the broader industry on a year-to-date basis. The negative impact of search engine adjustments on domain monetization and increasing operating expenses related to sales and marketing remain primary headwinds. Nevertheless, 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 will boost results. Moreover, strong demand for VeriSign’s cyber security products, following ransomware attacks such as WannaCry and Petya is also a key growth driver. “

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $94.00 target price on shares of VeriSign in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. Citigroup Inc. raised shares of VeriSign from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of VeriSign from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $87.75.

Shares of VeriSign (NASDAQ VRSN) traded up 0.64% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $100.05. 546,125 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $10.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.26 and a beta of 1.20. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $96.00 and its 200-day moving average price is $88.90. VeriSign has a 12-month low of $74.01 and a 12-month high of $103.79.

VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The information services provider reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.06. VeriSign had a net margin of 39.92% and a negative return on equity of 36.99%. The company had revenue of $289 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $287.47 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.91 earnings per share. VeriSign’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that VeriSign will post $3.97 EPS for the current year.

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In other VeriSign news, Director Timothy Tomlinson sold 1,240 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.00, for a total transaction of $125,240.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.92% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Gruss Capital Management LP raised its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Strs Ohio raised its stake in shares of 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 during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd raised its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of VeriSign by 55.3% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 535,112 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $46,614,000 after buying an additional 190,444 shares during the period.

About VeriSign

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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