Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. lifted its stake in Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) by 456.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 10,127 shares of the information services provider’s stock after buying an additional 8,308 shares during the period. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A.’s holdings in Verisign were worth $1,201,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of VRSN. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in Verisign by 15.5% during the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 6,826,054 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $781,174,000 after purchasing an additional 916,278 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. grew its position in Verisign by 230.1% during the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,078,110 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $127,821,000 after purchasing an additional 751,462 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Verisign by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,531,215 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $976,313,000 after purchasing an additional 194,074 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in Verisign by 14.9% during the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,370,201 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $156,806,000 after purchasing an additional 177,169 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PGGM Investments purchased a new position in Verisign during the 4th quarter worth $19,821,000.

VRSN has been the topic of several research reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Verisign from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 28th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Verisign from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $132.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 13th. ValuEngine raised shares of Verisign from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on shares of Verisign to $106.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, February 26th. Finally, Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Verisign from $111.00 to $123.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, April 30th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $113.80.

Shares of Verisign stock opened at $130.44 on Friday. Verisign has a 1 year low of $89.90 and a 1 year high of $131.44. The company has a current ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -1.44. The firm has a market cap of $12.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.45 and a beta of 0.87.

Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The information services provider reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.01. Verisign had a net margin of 40.41% and a negative return on equity of 37.57%. The company had revenue of $299.29 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $298.00 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.96 EPS. Verisign’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Verisign will post 4.28 EPS for the current year.

Verisign announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 8th that permits the company to repurchase $586.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the information services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

About Verisign

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN)

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