Vetr upgraded shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has $58.40 target price on the cell phone carrier’s stock.
VZ has been the subject of a number of other reports. Morgan Stanley reiterated a buy rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, June 6th. Imperial Capital downgraded Verizon Communications from an outperform rating to an in-line rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $50.00 to $60.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Barclays PLC reiterated an equal weight rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, August 26th. Macquarie reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, September 2nd. Twenty-four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $54.48.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) opened at 51.98 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $211.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.68 and a beta of 0.26. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $52.45 and its 200-day moving average price is $52.83. Verizon Communications has a 52-week low of $43.24 and a 52-week high of $56.95.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $30.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.95 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 87.41% and a net margin of 11.10%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.04 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post $3.89 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Friday, October 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.0125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $0.05 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.10%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 63.84%.
In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.76, for a total transaction of $35,454.72. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,526 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $555,351.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VZ. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 256,735,733 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $14,336,123,000 after buying an additional 6,630,874 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth $297,331,000. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 60,876,683 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,399,354,000 after buying an additional 3,662,102 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 102.0% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 5,912,820 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $319,765,000 after buying an additional 2,985,510 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 77.6% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 4,649,457 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $259,626,000 after buying an additional 2,031,427 shares in the last quarter. 63.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Verizon Communications Company Profile
Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The Company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its wireless and wireline networks.
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