Traders Buy Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) on Weakness After Earnings Miss

Investors purchased shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) on weakness during trading on Thursday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. $346.66 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $269.09 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $77.57 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Verizon Communications had the 2nd highest net in-flow for the day. Verizon Communications traded down ($0.53) for the day and closed at $48.41The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 72.75% and a net margin of 10.42%. The company earned $29.81 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.41 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.06 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 10th will be given a $0.5775 dividend. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.77%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 71.74%.

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Vetr raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.26 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, March 27th. Barclays PLC cut their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $49.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 13th. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $56.95 to $54.00 in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. assumed coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday. They set a “hold” rating and a $50.00 price objective for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.23.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.66, for a total transaction of $30,292.60. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,259 shares in the company, valued at approximately $509,461.94. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 12,495 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.27, for a total transaction of $603,133.65. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 16,058 shares in the company, valued at $775,119.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 56,163 shares of company stock worth $2,786,879 over the last quarter. 0.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Guidant Wealth Advisors purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the third quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Sunbelt Securities Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $115,000. Lowe fs LLC increased its position in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Ruggie Capital Group increased its position in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Tortoise Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 35.3% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 2,609 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 680 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.38% of the company’s stock.

The stock has a market cap of $197.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.08 and a beta of 0.43. The company’s 50-day moving average is $49.32 and its 200 day moving average is $49.96. Verizon Communications also was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Investors acquired 42,074 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 391% compared to the average daily volume of 8,574 call options.

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Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

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