Berkshire Hathaway Continues To Accumulate Verisign

Berkshire Hathaway Continues To Accumulate Verisign
By Mark Hirschey (Work of Mark Hirschey) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Verisign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) got a vote of confidence from billionaire investing legend Warren Buffett over the weekend. An SEC filing released on Saturday reports that Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) and holding companies control 12,985,000 shares of common stock of Internet security firm Verisign as of June 30th. This represents a 10.4% stake in the company.

Versign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) shares are down more than 10% year to date, and have dropped even more precipitously from the $62.96 52 week high reached in late January. The stock is up over $1.50 on Monday, trading at just under $55.

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According to Thomson Reuters, the consensus analyst price target for Verisign stands at $56.00.

Berkshire accumulating Verisign

As a number of analysts have pointed out, Buffett and Berkshire have been steadily accumulating Verisign shares since early last year. Furthermore, Berkshire added 11.12% to their position this quarter, increasing their stake in Verisign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) from 11,685,654 in March. Buffett’s conglomerate only owned 8.174 million shares in March of 2013, meaning they have increased their position by more than 50% over the last 15 months.

More on Verisign

Verisign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) business model involves providing companies with reliable and secure domain names. The firm currently has a market cap of more than $6.8 billion.

The stock soared back in mid July when the company reported strong second quarter results. Verisign earned revenues of more than $250 million for the period, a solid 4.6% year-over-year increase. Net income topped $100 million for the first time, relative to just $87 million a year ago.

The firm closed the second quarter with $1.5 billion in cash, down by $178 million from year-end 2013. Verisign also announced a share repurchase authorization of $491 million in late July, increasing its existing total share buy back authorization to $1 billion with no expiration date.

Last but not least, Verisign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) sports a P/E of 14, approaching a five-year low. The company’s P/S ratio of 7.99 is also very close to a one-year low.

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