Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) – Analysts at Jefferies Group reduced their Q2 2017 EPS estimates for shares of Verizon Communications in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. Jefferies Group analyst M. Mccormack now forecasts that the cell phone carrier will post earnings of $0.98 per share for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of $1.01. Jefferies Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Verizon Communications’ Q4 2017 earnings at $0.86 EPS, FY2017 earnings at $3.77 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $3.76 EPS.

VZ has been the subject of a number of other reports. Argus cut Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Zacks Investment Research cut Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Moffett Nathanson raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $53.00 to $54.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 21st. Instinet reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 target price (down from $47.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Vetr raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.26 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Twenty-seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.54.

Earnings History and Estimates for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) opened at 46.63 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $46.05 and its 200-day moving average price is $49.18. The firm has a market capitalization of $190.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.60 and a beta of 0.56. Verizon Communications has a 12 month low of $44.46 and a 12 month high of $56.95.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 66.99% and a net margin of 9.92%. The business had revenue of $29.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.41 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. ETRADE Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 16.1% in the third quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 152,768 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $7,941,000 after buying an additional 21,134 shares during the period. Fayez Sarofim & Co. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 17.2% in the third quarter. Fayez Sarofim & Co. now owns 11,883 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $618,000 after buying an additional 1,745 shares during the period. Advent Capital Management DE purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth $520,000. Accident Compensation Corp raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.2% in the third quarter. Accident Compensation Corp now owns 101,061 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $5,253,000 after buying an additional 2,200 shares during the period. Finally, Ashburton Jersey Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth $1,561,000. Institutional investors own 62.53% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.34, for a total transaction of $27,657.40. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 9,039 shares in the company, valued at $409,828.26. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 16,362 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.08, for a total value of $753,960.96. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 11,797 shares in the company, valued at approximately $543,605.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 18,192 shares of company stock worth $840,801. 0.13% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.5775 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.95%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 77.00%.

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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