Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) dropped 1.8% on Tuesday . The company traded as low as $54.71 and last traded at $54.86, with a volume of 9,568,133 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $55.87.

VZ has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Vetr raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $57.23 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, May 2nd. Argus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Saturday, April 9th. Citigroup Inc. lowered shares of Verizon Communications to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Barclays PLC increased their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $51.00 to $52.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 18th. Finally, Drexel Hamilton reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, May 24th. Twenty investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.39.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $54.68 and a 200 day moving average price of $51.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $223.42 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.43.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.04 EPS. The company earned $30.53 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.95 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 8th will be given a dividend of $0.565 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 6th. This represents a $2.26 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.12%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.56, for a total transaction of $36,664.32. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 11,870 shares in the company, valued at approximately $647,627.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. DT Investment Partners LLC increased its stake 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 worth $1,061,000 after buying an additional 2,849 shares during the last quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. increased its stake 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 worth $1,128,000 after buying an additional 364 shares during the last quarter. Hillsdale Investment Management Inc. increased its stake 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 worth $1,151,000 after buying an additional 1,900 shares during the last quarter. SignalPoint Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. SignalPoint Asset Management LLC now owns 29,459 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,362,000 after buying an additional 2,910 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Investment Partners Ltd. OH ADV increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 31.6% in the fourth quarter. Investment Partners Ltd. OH ADV now owns 30,352 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,408,000 after buying an additional 7,283 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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