Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) have received an average rating of “Hold” from the thirty-three research firms that are currently covering the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twenty-five have assigned a hold recommendation and seven have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $54.63.
A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on VZ shares. Evercore ISI started coverage on Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, January 30th. They set a “hold” rating and a $53.00 price target for the company. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, January 25th. Barclays PLC dropped their price target on Verizon Communications from $53.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 25th. FBR & Co cut Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $57.00 to $52.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc dropped their price target on Verizon Communications from $54.00 to $51.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 24th.
Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) opened at 50.24 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $49.26 and a 200 day moving average price of $50.48. Verizon Communications has a one year low of $46.01 and a one year high of $56.95. The firm has a market cap of $204.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.65 and a beta of 0.43.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 10.42% and a return on equity of 72.75%. The business had revenue of $32.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.12 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.89 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications will post $3.85 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.5775 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.60%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 71.74%.
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In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 32,254 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.92, for a total transaction of $1,610,119.68. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 28,159 shares in the company, valued at $1,405,697.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Roger Gurnani sold 10,804 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.29, for a total value of $543,333.16. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 63,734 shares in the company, valued at $3,205,182.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 55,553 shares of company stock worth $2,756,586. Corporate insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Guidant Wealth Advisors purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the third quarter valued at about $107,000. Sunbelt Securities Inc. purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $115,000. Solaris Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the third quarter valued at about $125,000. Lowe fs LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 3.0% in the third quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,426 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 70 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ruggie Capital Group increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.3% in the third quarter. Ruggie Capital Group now owns 2,649 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 9 shares in the last quarter. 63.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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