Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ – Get Rating) has been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the 22 analysts currently covering the company, reports Marketbeat.com. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen with a hold rating and four with a buy rating. The average 1-year target price among analysts covering the stock in the last year is $55.72.
VZ has been the subject of a number of research reports. Cowen lowered his target price on Verizon Communications shares to $64.00 from $71.00 and gave the stock a “Outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25. Barclays downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal” rating in a research report on Friday, July 22. Wells Fargo & Company lowered its target price on Verizon Communications shares to $52.00 from $58.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, July 8. StockNews.com downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report Tuesday, August 16. Finally, Moffett Nathanson downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “Market Perform” rating to an “Underperform” rating and set a price target of $41.00 for the stock. in a report on Thursday, August 18.
Course development by Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications shares opened at $43.47 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $47.92 and a 200-day simple moving average of $50.31. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.56. Verizon Communications has a 1 year low of $43.42 and a 1 year high of $55.51. The stock has a market cap of $182.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.71, a PEG ratio of 2.11, and a beta of 0.33.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 22. The wireless carrier reported earnings per share of $1.31 for the quarter, missing analyst consensus estimates of $1.32 ($0.01). Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 26.95% and a net margin of 15.48%. The company had revenue of $33.79 billion in the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $33.77 billion. In the same quarter last year, the company posted earnings per share of $1.37. Verizon Communications quarterly revenue increased 0.1% compared to the year-ago quarter. On average, sell-side analysts expect Verizon Communications to report year-to-date earnings per share of 5.2.
Verizon Communications Dividend Announcement
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 8 received a dividend of $0.64 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday July 7th. That equates to a dividend of $2.56 on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.89%. Verizon Communications’ payout ratio currently stands at 51.30%.
Insider buying and selling at Verizon Communications
In addition, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,558 shares of the company’s shares in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock sold at an average price of $51.42 for a total value of $80,112.36. Following the closing of the sale, the Executive Vice President now directly owns 33,403 shares of the Company, valued at approximately $1,717,582.26. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.02% of the company’s shares.
Institutional Trading by Verizon Communications
Major investors have recently bought and sold shares in the company. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.5% in the first quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 1,996,800 shares of the wireless carrier, valued at $101,717,000, after purchasing an additional 9,200 shares last quarter. NorthCrest Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 860.0% in the first quarter. NorthCrest Asset Management LLC now owns 336,892 shares of the wireless carrier’s stock valued at $17,161,000 after acquiring an additional 301,800 shares last quarter. WC Walker & Associates Inc. increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.7% in the first quarter. WC Walker & Associates Inc. now owns 41,306 shares of the wireless carrier, valued at $2,236,000, after purchasing an additional 1,096 shares last quarter. Wilson & Boucher Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.2% in the first quarter. Wilson & Boucher Capital Management LLC now owns 17,693 shares of the wireless carrier, valued at $901,000, after acquiring an additional 202 shares last quarter. Finally, CRA Financial Services LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 9.1% during the first quarter. CRA Financial Services LLC now owns 16,518 shares of the wireless carrier, valued at $841,000, after purchasing an additional 1,375 shares last quarter. 63.78% of the shares are owned by institutional investors.
About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, technology, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and government agencies worldwide. The consumer segment offers postpaid and prepaid service plans; Internet access on notebooks and tablets; wireless devices including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled internet devices such as tablets and other wireless-enabled connected devices, including smart watches.
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