Shares of Verisign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $182.32 and last traded at $181.96, with a volume of 12222 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $180.50.

A number of analysts have recently commented on VRSN shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Verisign from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 5th. Citigroup reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $195.00 price target (up from $175.00) on shares of Verisign in a research report on Tuesday, March 5th. ValuEngine raised shares of Verisign from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 12th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Verisign from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verisign presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $175.00.

The stock has a market capitalization of $21.72 billion, a PE ratio of 38.20 and a beta of 1.08.

Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The information services provider reported $1.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm posted $0.96 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Verisign, Inc. will post 4.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Verisign news, Director Timothy Tomlinson sold 580 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.12, for a total transaction of $101,569.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.35% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Verisign by 4.5% in the third 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 during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its position in shares of Verisign by 4.5% in the third 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 during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Verisign by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,848,684 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $1,312,172,000 after purchasing an additional 215,361 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Verisign by 1.8% in the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 7,037,800 shares of the information services provider’s stock valued at $1,126,893,000 after purchasing an additional 122,700 shares during the period. Finally, Capital International Investors bought a new position in shares of Verisign in the third quarter valued at about $991,190,000. 93.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Verisign Company Profile (NASDAQ:VRSN)

VeriSign, Inc provides domain name registry services and Internet infrastructure in the United States and internationally. The company offers registry services that operate the authoritative directory of and/or the back-end systems for .com, .net, .cc, .tv, .gov, .jobs, .edu, .name, and other domain names.

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