Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $56.82 and last traded at $56.72, with a volume of 8,707,443 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $56.23.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. Vetr downgraded Verizon Communications from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.01 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, May 9th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their target price on Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 4th. Macquarie started coverage on Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, April 5th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Finally, Citigroup Inc. raised their target price on Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, March 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.11.

The firm has a market cap of $229.33 billion and a P/E ratio of 12.76. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $52.55 and its 200-day moving average price is $50.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 21st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.06. The company had revenue of $32.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.49 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.02 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.91 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.565 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 6th. This represents a $2.26 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.02%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.80, for a total transaction of $33,465.60. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 12,542 shares in the company, valued at approximately $624,591.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of VZ. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Verizon Communications by 9.2% in the fourth quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 22,104 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,022,000 after buying an additional 1,869 shares during the last quarter. DT Investment Partners LLC increased its position in Verizon Communications by 14.2% in the fourth quarter. DT Investment Partners LLC now owns 22,954 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,061,000 after buying an additional 2,849 shares during the last quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 24,397 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,128,000 after buying an additional 364 shares during the last quarter. Montecito Bank & Trust increased its position in Verizon Communications by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Montecito Bank & Trust now owns 24,730 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,143,000 after buying an additional 961 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. now owns 24,893 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,151,000 after buying an additional 1,900 shares during the last quarter.

Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The Company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its wireless and wireline networks.

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