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TheStreet Open House

9 IT Services Stocks With Upside

Stocks in this article: VRSNSAPEEQIXSYNTIGTELOGMINXN

9. Verisign (VRSN) delivers Internet infrastructure services for the network world. With a market cap exceeding $5.70 billion, the company's services include domain name registry and infrastructure assurance. It operates through two business segments: Naming Services, comprising of Registry Services and Network Intelligence, and Availability (NIA) Services.

Of the 16 analysts covering the stock, 63% recommend a buy and 37% rate a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 9.4% to $39.20 in the upcoming 12 months.

For the latest third-quarter, the company reported revenue of $197 million, up 4% from the previous quarter and up 14% from the 2010 quarter. Net income for the quarter was $59 million and diluted earnings per share stood at 36 cents. Operating margin was 50.1%, compared to 43.1% for the same period last year.

Verisign Registry Services ended the quarter with 112 million active domain names in the adjusted zones, for .com and .net representing an 8% increase year-over-year. The company processed 7.9 million new domain name registrations, up 6% over the same quarter previous year. Verisign ended the quarter repurchasing about 7.9 million shares of the company's common stock for $235 million.

The company will report fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 26, 2012. Revenue outlook for the quarter is $203.71 million, an increase by 14% from the same quarter last year. Net income is pegged at $67.36 million, or 41 cents per share, from $53.51 million, or 31 cents per share, from the prior year quarter, according to Bloomberg.

Fiscal 2011 revenue is expected to rise 13% to $771.92 million, while net income is seen at $251.73 million, or $1.51 per share, from 185.20 million, or $1.03 per share, in the prior-year quarter, as stated by Bloomberg.

In its Domain Name Industry Brief released Dec. 22, the company registered almost 220 million domain names across all top-level domains at the end of the third quarter. Registrations grew 2.3% or 4.9 million since the prior quarter, and rose 8.9% or 18 million since the third quarter of 2010.

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