Telefonica Brasil (VIV) Cut to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Telefonica Brasil (NYSE:VIV) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Telefonica Brasil continues to suffer from the losses in fixed line voice business. Impact of wireless substitution remains high as a growing number of customers are taking advantage of discounted calling rate offers from national wireless operators. The company is also experiencing revenue loss especially in Pay-TV and Fixed access business units owing to an increase in MMDS customer churn following spectrum acquisition by 4G operators. Competition within the mobile business is expected to intensify with new rivals entering the market and rapid development of new technologies, products and services. Competition in the local phone market is also intense and the long-distance market has matured. However, the company is offering bundled services, which are improving its competitive position and expanding its opportunities. The company outperformed the industry on an average in the last three months.”

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A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group downgraded shares of Telefonica Brasil from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Santander lowered shares of Telefonica Brasil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Telefonica Brasil from $17.50 to $18.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 20th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $16.00 price target on shares of Telefonica Brasil and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 23rd. Finally, Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on shares of Telefonica Brasil in a research note on Tuesday. They set a “neutral” rating and a $18.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $17.00.

VIV stock traded down $0.20 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $15.10. The company had a trading volume of 635,649 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,169,577. Telefonica Brasil has a 1 year low of $13.06 and a 1 year high of $17.33. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 0.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08. The company has a market cap of $26,005.89, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.79, a PEG ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 1.38.

Telefonica Brasil (NYSE:VIV) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The Wireless communications provider reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by $0.03. Telefonica Brasil had a net margin of 10.65% and a return on equity of 6.60%. The company had revenue of $3.40 billion during the quarter. research analysts anticipate that Telefonica Brasil will post 1.02 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Schafer Cullen Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Telefonica Brasil by 3.5% in the 4th quarter. Schafer Cullen Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,837,297 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $71,737,000 after buying an additional 164,619 shares during the last quarter. Cullen Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Telefonica Brasil by 9.6% in the 4th quarter. Cullen Capital Management LLC now owns 613,025 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $9,091,000 after buying an additional 53,460 shares during the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC grew its stake in Telefonica Brasil by 83.4% in the 4th quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 34,230 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $508,000 after buying an additional 15,568 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC grew its stake in Telefonica Brasil by 285.9% in the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 2,286,284 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $33,906,000 after buying an additional 1,693,892 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Paloma Partners Management Co acquired a new position in Telefonica Brasil in the 4th quarter valued at $312,000. Institutional investors own 9.60% of the company’s stock.

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Telefonica Brasil Company Profile

TelefĂ´nica Brasil SA provides mobile and fixed line telecommunications services to residential and corporate customers in Brazil. Its fixed line services portfolio includes local, domestic long-distance, and international long-distance calls; and mobile portfolio comprises voice and broadband Internet access through 3G and 4G, as well as mobile value-added services and wireless roaming services.

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