Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) have been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the thirty-three brokerages that are covering the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twenty-five have issued a hold recommendation and seven have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $54.63.
Several research analysts have commented on VZ shares. Drexel Hamilton reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, January 24th. HSBC Holdings plc raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, January 19th. Citigroup Inc raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $52.25 to $53.38 in a report on Tuesday, January 3rd. Vetr raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.98 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 24th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $53.00 to $54.00 in a report on Tuesday, February 21st.
Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) opened at 50.24 on Thursday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $49.26 and a 200-day moving average price of $50.48. Verizon Communications has a 12-month low of $46.01 and a 12-month high of $56.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $204.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.65 and a beta of 0.43.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm earned $32.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.12 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.89 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post $3.85 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed 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 dividend yield of 4.60%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 6th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 71.74%.
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In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 12,495 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.27, for a total value 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Roger Gurnani sold 10,804 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.29, for a total transaction of $543,333.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 63,734 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,205,182.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 55,553 shares of company stock worth $2,756,586 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $1,712,958,000. FMR LLC boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 17.9% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 48,743,437 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,601,925,000 after buying an additional 7,388,078 shares during the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 1,244.2% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 7,366,887 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $393,444,000 after buying an additional 6,818,838 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 166,049,068 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $8,863,705,000 after buying an additional 5,406,022 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 19.9% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 29,966,112 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,557,638,000 after buying an additional 4,982,419 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.38% of the company’s stock.
About Verizon Communications
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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