Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Upgraded to “Strong-Buy” by Vetr Inc.
Vetr upgraded shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report published on Wednesday morning. They currently have $58.40 target price on the cell phone carrier’s stock.
VZ has been the subject of several other reports. Morgan Stanley reiterated a buy rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, June 6th. Imperial Capital downgraded Verizon Communications from an outperform rating to an in-line rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $50.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Barclays PLC reiterated an equal weight rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, August 26th. Macquarie reiterated a neutral rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, September 2nd. Twenty-four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $54.48.
Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) opened at 52.06 on Wednesday. Verizon Communications has a 52 week low of $42.20 and a 52 week high of $56.95. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $52.55 and a 200-day moving average price of $52.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $212.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.71 and a beta of 0.26.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. The business earned $30.53 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.95 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 87.41% and a net margin of 11.10%. The business’s revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.04 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post $3.89 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Friday, October 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.0125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $0.05 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.10%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 63.84%.
In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.76, for a total transaction of $35,454.72. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,526 shares in the company, valued at $555,351.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 256,735,733 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $14,336,123,000 after buying an additional 6,630,874 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter valued at about $297,331,000. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 60,876,683 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,399,354,000 after buying an additional 3,662,102 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 102.0% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 5,912,820 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $319,765,000 after buying an additional 2,985,510 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 77.6% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 4,649,457 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $259,626,000 after buying an additional 2,031,427 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.47% of the company’s stock.
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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