Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ – Get Rating) stock has been assigned an average rating of “Hold” by the twenty-two rating agencies currently covering the stock, reports MarketBeat Ratings. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokers who have covered the stock over the past year is $55.72.
Several stock analysts recently rated the VZ share. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating and price target of $57.00 on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, June 24. Raymond James reiterated an outperform rating and a price target of $64.00 on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Credit Suisse Group has lowered its target price on Verizon Communications to $54.00 from $58.00 and rated the company at “neutral” in a report Tuesday, June 21. Wells Fargo & Company lowered its target price on Verizon Communications to $52.00 from $58.00 in a report Friday, July 8, and gave the company an “equal weight” rating. Finally, Wolfe Research lowered its target price on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $51.00 and gave the company a peer perform rating in a report Thursday, June 2nd.
Course development by Verizon Communications
VZ stock opened at $41.25 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $44.82 and a 200-day moving average price of $48.90. Verizon Communications has a 12-month low of $40.66 and a 12-month high of $55.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.56. The company has a market cap of $173.24 billion, a P/E of 8.27, a price-to-earnings-to-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.36.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 22nd. The wireless carrier reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.31 for the quarter, falling short of analyst consensus estimates of $1.32 ($0.01). Verizon Communications had a net margin of 15.48% and a return on equity of 26.95%. The company made $33.79 billion in revenue for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $33.77 billion. In the same period last year, the company posted $1.37 per share. Verizon Communications revenue increased 0.1% year over year. As a group, research analysts are forecasting that Verizon Communications will post 5.19 EPS for the year to date.
Verizon Communications increases dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Friday, October 7 will receive a dividend of $0.6525. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday October 6th. That translates to an annualized dividend of $2.61 and a yield of 6.33%. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’ prior quarterly dividend of $0.64. Verizon Communications’ payout ratio currently stands at 51.30%.
Insider buying and selling
In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,558 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.42 for a total value of $80,112.36. Following the completion of the sale, the Executive Vice President now owns 33,403 shares of the Company, valued at $1,717,582.26. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC’s website. Company insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors rely on Verizon Communications
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares in the company. Hoylecohen LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 6.8% in the fourth quarter. Hoylecohen LLC now owns 177,953 shares of the wireless carrier valued at $9,246,000 after purchasing an additional 11,253 shares during the period. True North Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Verizon Communications stock valued at approximately $364,000 during the fourth quarter. Asset Allocation & Management Company LLC acquired a new position in Verizon Communications stock valued at approximately $281,000 during the fourth quarter. Alberta Investment Management Corp increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 39.1% in the fourth quarter. Alberta Investment Management Corp now owns 767,842 shares of the wireless carrier, valued at $39,897,000, after purchasing an additional 215,742 shares during the period. Finally, during the fourth quarter, MKT Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Verizon Communications stock valued at approximately $1,033,000. 62.83% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors.
Verizon Communications Company Profile
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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