Principal Global Investors LLC recently announced the acquisition of new stake in VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Technology company by 10.74% to 2.63 million shares with purchase of 0.25 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 2.28% valued currently at $575.89 million.
With over 0.51 million VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) shares trading Thursday and a closing price of $210.81 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $106.93 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 2.78% and its price on 07/02/20 gained nearly 0.16%. Currently, there are 116.38M common shares owned by the public and among those 113.85M shares have been available to trade.
An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 3 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for VRSN have a consensus price objective of $243.67. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $250.00 and a low of $235.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the VeriSign Inc. stock is 2.30 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 13.49% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 10.29% over that period. But an upside of 15.68% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $246.00.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 82 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 19 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 236,695 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 63 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 149,184 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in VeriSign Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, and Vanguard 500 Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 3.04 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $666.3 million. The company sold 14499.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.63% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund bought 15742.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 2.76 million shares valued at over $603.86 million and representing 2.39% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold 4000.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 2.11 million shares at a value of $462.18 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 1.83% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) opened at $209.95, down -$0.53 from a prior closing price of $210.48. However, the script later closed the day at $210.81, up 0.16%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 2.78% and 15.96% over the past three months. VRSN shares are trading 9.41% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -2.88% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $148.77 and touched a high of $221.78 over the same period. Currently, 0.51 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 676.58K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 1.56%, 0.07%, and 7.01% respectively.
Institutional ownership of VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) shares accounts for 94.50% of the company’s 116.38M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 43.73%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 50.54% and 15.96% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $24.32B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.89. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 31.67, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $6.66. The company has a PEG of 3.96 and a Quick Ratio of 1.20. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.51% over the week and 2.75% over the month.
Analysts forecast that VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) will achieve an EPS of $1.32 for the current quarter, $1.33 for the next quarter and $6.02 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $1.29 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.35. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.33 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 54.20%, and 7.77% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 8.00% over the next five years, compared to 23.50% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 3 brokerage firm advisors rate VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.30. Specifically, 0 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 2 of the 3 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the VRSN, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Citigroup stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on March 05, 2019, with the firm’s price target at $195. Robert W. Baird coverage for the VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) stock in a research note released on November 02, 2018 offered a Outperform rating with a price target of . JP Morgan was of a view on November 02, 2018 that the stock is Neutral, while Citigroup gave the stock Neutral rating on April 12, 2017 . Robert W. Baird on their part issued Neutral rating on February 28, 2017.