Investors bought shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $100.26 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $49.89 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $50.37 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Verizon Communications had the 12th highest net in-flow for the day. Verizon Communications traded down ($0.10) for the day and closed at $49.41

VZ has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $50.65 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 7th. BidaskClub raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.00.

The company has a 50 day moving average price of $48.00 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.06. The company has a market cap of $201.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.72 and a beta of 0.57.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The company had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.84 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.94 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.77 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.59 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.77%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 59.23%.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.74, for a total transaction of $29,121.40. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,819 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $373,279.06. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $88,828. 0.13% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of VZ. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 15.1% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 153,408,016 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,851,202,000 after acquiring an additional 20,070,391 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 15.0% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 61,833,096 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,761,466,000 after acquiring an additional 8,077,275 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 282,894,542 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $12,634,070,000 after acquiring an additional 5,837,702 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 19.9% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 21,820,729 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $974,515,000 after acquiring an additional 3,623,182 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 52.6% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 9,014,846 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $402,604,000 after acquiring an additional 3,107,054 shares in the last quarter. 62.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Verizon Communications Company Profile

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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