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VRSN Targets Internet Infrastructure

Zacks Equity Research

Recently announced, Verisign, Inc. (NasdaqGS:VRSN - News) has decided to steer its focus toward Internet infrastructure developments for worldwide online users targeting primarily the emerging sectors.

The company hopes to go about its expansionary plan by investing in a grant program for conducting thorough research on mainly the infrastructural, security and accessibility aspects of the Internet.

It even plans to motivate high quality research by awarding two grants in July 2012, worth $200,000 each to the most competent researchers who come up with convincing and exhaustive proposals targeting the amelioration of Internet usage, especially in the developing and emerging economies of the world.

This venture, however, is not the first for Verisign to boost research growth. Previously, there was a similar Infrastructure Grant Program implemented in 2010 when grants worth $300,000 were awarded to university research scholars for extraordinary and refined research project developments. The program concluded at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. in October 2011.

Such continued efforts as these to promote research most certainly are laudatory; as the company’s endeavour depicts Verisign’s eminently constructive approach of constantly trying to improve and innovate technological advancements.

Verisign recently reported revenues of $197 million in its 2011 third quarter financial results, increasing 14% year over year. Net earnings came in at 35 cents per share which beat our Zacks Consensus Estimate.

We currently await the company’s December quarter financial results of 2011 which are due on January 26, 2012. Verisign expects a revenue growth of 13% to 14% year over year for full year 2011 with a gross margin projection of about 79%.

Verisign seems to be in quite a formidable position to battle its competitors at present with its favorable quarterly results, positive future guidance and development initiatives. However, it would be wise to remain wary of big names in this sector such as The Active Network Inc. (NYSE:ACTV - News), Ellie Mae Inc. (AMEX:ELLI - News) and QIHOO 360 Tech Co. Ltd. (NYSE:QIHU - News).

In the short run, we have a Zacks #1 Rank for the stock, which translates into a short-term rating of Strong Buy. We currently have a long-term Outperform rating for the company’s stock.

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