Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) saw some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Investors purchased 291,647 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 962% compared to the average volume of 27,458 call options.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,555 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.60, for a total transaction of $86,458.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 27,256 shares in the company, valued at $1,515,433.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of VZ. AMI Asset Management Corp boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. AMI Asset Management Corp now owns 11,786 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $692,000 after buying an additional 181 shares during the last quarter. New Capital Management LP raised its holdings in Verizon Communications by 60.3% in the 4th quarter. New Capital Management LP now owns 481 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $28,000 after buying an additional 181 shares during the period. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. now owns 17,502 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,028,000 after buying an additional 184 shares during the last quarter. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management now owns 27,770 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,631,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. Finally, Teamwork Financial Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Teamwork Financial Advisors LLC now owns 21,191 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,245,000 after acquiring an additional 191 shares during the last quarter. 64.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. Tigress Financial raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 30th. Scotiabank downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Thursday, February 25th. Oppenheimer reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, March 3rd. Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $59.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, January 19th. Finally, Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Thursday, March 11th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.06.

NYSE VZ opened at $59.00 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $244.26 billion, a PE ratio of 12.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.54 and a beta of 0.44. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $56.65 and its 200-day simple moving average is $58.04. Verizon Communications has a 1-year low of $52.85 and a 1-year high of $61.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.93.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, January 25th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.21 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 32.15% and a net margin of 14.76%. The firm had revenue of $34.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.47 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.13 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.6275 per share. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.25%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 8th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 52.18%.

About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc offers communications, technology, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides postpaid and prepaid service plans; internet access on notebook computers and tablets; wireless equipment, including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled internet devices, such as tablets, and other wireless-enabled connected devices, such as smart watches.

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