1,036,620 Shares in VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) Acquired by Norges Bank

Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor purchased 1,036,620 shares of the information services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $224,325,000.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in shares of VeriSign by 3.7% during the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,454 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $314,000 after purchasing an additional 52 shares in the last quarter. Gilbert & Cook Inc. increased its position in shares of VeriSign by 6.3% during the fourth quarter. Gilbert & Cook Inc. now owns 1,191 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $257,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares in the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of VeriSign by 5.0% during the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,875 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $406,000 after purchasing an additional 90 shares in the last quarter. Transform Wealth LLC increased its position in shares of VeriSign by 3.9% during the fourth quarter. Transform Wealth LLC now owns 2,895 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $626,000 after purchasing an additional 109 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC increased its position in shares of VeriSign by 4.1% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 3,262 shares of the information services provider’s stock worth $706,000 after purchasing an additional 127 shares in the last quarter. 90.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NASDAQ VRSN opened at $204.37 on Thursday. VeriSign, Inc. has a 1 year low of $184.60 and a 1 year high of $221.30. The company has a market cap of $23.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.32 and a beta of 0.87. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $195.08 and its 200 day moving average price is $201.17.

VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 11th. The information services provider reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.09. VeriSign had a net margin of 63.32% and a negative return on equity of 54.86%. The company had revenue of $320.28 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $320.29 million. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that VeriSign, Inc. will post 5.26 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Kathleen A. Cote sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.79, for a total transaction of $190,790.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 32,454 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,191,898.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Thomas C. Indelicarto sold 613 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $200.00, for a total transaction of $122,600.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 55,815 shares in the company, valued at $11,163,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 28,678 shares of company stock worth $5,743,264. 1.35% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on VRSN. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised VeriSign from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $246.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, December 9th. TheStreet downgraded VeriSign from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 26th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded VeriSign from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $213.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, February 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. VeriSign presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $229.60.

VeriSign Company Profile

VeriSign, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides domain name registry services and Internet infrastructure that enables Internet navigation for various recognized domain names worldwide. It enables the security, stability, and resiliency of Internet infrastructure and services, including providing root zone maintainer services, operating two of the 13 Internet root servers; and offering registration services and authoritative resolution for the .com and .net domains, which support global e-commerce.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN)

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