Verizon Communications (VZ) Upgraded by Scotia Howard Weill to Sector Outperform

Scotia Howard Weill upgraded shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) from a sector perform rating to a sector outperform rating in a report published on Monday.

A number of other research analysts have also commented on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $50.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Instinet raised their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Nomura upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a neutral rating to a buy rating and raised their price objective for the company from $47.00 to $61.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a hold rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Macquarie reiterated a hold rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, October 22nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $51.93.

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded down $0.26 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $53.20. 20,117,378 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 17,289,973. Verizon Communications has a 12 month low of $42.80 and a 12 month high of $53.69. The firm has a market capitalization of $216,820.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.64, a P/E/G ratio of 3.49 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a quick ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.88 by ($0.02). Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.80% and a return on equity of 58.66%. The firm had revenue of $33.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $33.20 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post 3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.44%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 60.51%.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.62, for a total transaction of $29,658.20. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 5,989 shares in the company, valued at $291,185.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.1% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 282,894,542 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $12,634,070,000 after purchasing an additional 5,837,702 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 15.1% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 153,408,016 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,851,202,000 after purchasing an additional 20,070,391 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 15.0% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 61,833,096 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,761,466,000 after purchasing an additional 8,077,275 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 24,495,234 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,212,227,000 after purchasing an additional 636,014 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 19.9% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 21,820,729 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $974,515,000 after purchasing an additional 3,623,182 shares during the period. 63.14% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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