TheStreet.com is reporting that Wells Fargo analyst Gray Powell downgraded Verisign (VRSN) today writing:
VeriSign’s domain name growth appears to be falling a bit lower than the midpoint of second quarter expectations and competition from new gTLDs could be influencing overall growth to some degree.
“The company is tracking toward about 400K domain name additions in the upcoming quarter, which is lower than the 550K guidance midpoint, said the analyst, citing ICANN zone files.”
“The analyst also noted that other domain names that will possibly be more popular haven’t yet been launched.”
“He downgraded the stock to Market Perform from Outperform and lowered his price target range on the shares to $51-$55 from $56-$60.”
TheStreet.com reports that the same analyst said while Google’s (GOOG) recently announced domain program could be a good thing for VeriSign, as small businesses buy more .com and .net web domains, if Google sells higher profile domains at larger discounts or gives them away for free, it could result in more competition to VeriSign’s .com and .net domains starting late next year.
Shares of Verisign are trading down $1.65 a share just over 3% today on the news although it has bounced off the lows of the session which was $48.64