Traders Buy Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) on Weakness

Traders purchased shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) on weakness during trading on Wednesday. $214.63 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $164.30 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $50.33 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Verizon Communications had the 11th highest net in-flow for the day. Verizon Communications traded down ($1.10) for the day and closed at $52.43

VZ has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 20th. Instinet lifted their target price on Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Nomura upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $47.00 to $61.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Bank of America set a $52.00 target price on Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.98.

The company has a market cap of $213,885.09, a P/E ratio of 13.49, a P/E/G ratio of 4.80 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.02.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 58.66% and a net margin of 12.80%. The firm had revenue of $31.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.45 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a dividend of $0.59 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.49%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 60.51%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total transaction of $28,920.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $154,983.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. AE Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 69.9% in the 1st quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC now owns 87,982 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,289,000 after purchasing an additional 36,203 shares during the last quarter. Argent Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.5% in the 1st quarter. Argent Capital Management LLC now owns 202,081 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $9,851,000 after purchasing an additional 2,913 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 278.9% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. now owns 37,533 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,830,000 after purchasing an additional 27,626 shares during the last quarter. Segantii Capital Management Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 1st quarter valued at about $6,094,000. Finally, Eliot Finkel Investment Counsel LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. Eliot Finkel Investment Counsel LLC now owns 73,345 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,576,000 after purchasing an additional 2,970 shares during the last quarter. 63.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Verizon Communications

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.

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