Verisign Inc Valuation – March 2019 #VRSN

Company Profile (excerpt from Reuters): VeriSign, Inc., incorporated on April 12, 1995, is a provider of domain name registry services and Internet security, enabling Internet navigation for various domain names and providing protection for Websites and enterprises around the world. The Company operates through Registry Services and Security Services segment. Registry Services ensure the security, stability and resiliency of Internet infrastructure and services, including the .com and .net domains, and operation of the root-zone maintainer functions for the core of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). Security Services provides infrastructure assurance services consisting of Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) Protection Services and Managed DNS Services.


Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of VRSN – March 2019

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $21,248,216,007 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 1.39 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Fail
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 81.88% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 40.77 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 -15.55 Fail
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 1.39 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 4.83 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Fail
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass


Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $4.35
MG Growth Estimate 9.85%
MG Value $122.80
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade D
MG Value based on 3% Growth $63.12
MG Value based on 0% Growth $37.00
Market Implied Growth Rate 16.14%
Current Price $177.49
% of Intrinsic Value 144.54%

Verisign, Inc. does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, poor dividend history, and the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets, and the lack of dividends. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.63 in 2015 to an estimated $4.35 for 2019. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 16.14% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Verisign, Inc. revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $0. The company does not pay a dividend. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 40.77, which was below the industry average of 56.55, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-16.33.

Verisign, Inc. scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of D.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$16.33
Graham Number $0.00
PEmg 40.77
Current Ratio 1.39
PB Ratio -15.55
Current Dividend $0.00
Dividend Yield 0.00%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 0

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2018
Total Current Assets $1,317,034,000
Total Current Liabilities $947,590,000
Long-Term Debt $1,785,047,000
Total Assets $1,914,504,000
Intangible Assets $52,527,000
Total Liabilities $3,299,978,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 121,407,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $5.12
Dec2018 $4.75
Dec2017 $3.68
Dec2016 $3.42
Dec2015 $2.82
Dec2014 $2.52
Dec2013 $3.49
Dec2012 $1.95
Dec2011 $0.86
Dec2010 $4.64
Dec2009 $1.28
Dec2008 -$1.90
Dec2007 -$0.63
Dec2006 $1.53
Dec2005 $1.63
Dec2004 $0.60
Dec2003 -$1.20
Dec2002 -$20.97
Dec2001 -$65.64
Dec2000 -$19.57
Dec1999 $0.03

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $4.35
Dec2018 $3.79
Dec2017 $3.27
Dec2016 $2.99
Dec2015 $2.63
Dec2014 $2.58
Dec2013 $2.56
Dec2012 $1.85
Dec2011 $1.48
Dec2010 $1.53
Dec2009 $0.11
Dec2008 -$0.24
Dec2007 $0.52
Dec2006 -$0.49
Dec2005 -$6.71
Dec2004 -$14.37
Dec2003 -$21.73

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

Verisign Inc Valuation – May 2018 $VRSN
Verisign Inc Valuation – February 2017 $VRSN
Verisign Inc Valuation – August 2016 $VRSN
Verisign Inc. Analysis – 2015 Update $VRSN
20 Companies in the Research Spotlight This Week – June 7, 2014

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The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

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