Investors bought shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $142.98 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $90.54 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $52.44 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Verizon Communications had the 8th highest net in-flow for the day. Verizon Communications traded down ($0.46) for the day and closed at $54.86

A number of brokerages have recently commented on VZ. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $59.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Pacific Crest reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Drexel Hamilton reaffirmed an “in-line” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday. Twenty-two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $54.14.

The company has a market capitalization of $225.85 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.65. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $54.98 and a 200 day moving average price of $51.88.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.04 earnings per share. The business had revenue of $30.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.95 billion. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.90 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 1st. Investors of record on Friday, July 8th will be given a dividend of $0.565 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 6th. This represents a $2.26 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.08%.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.81, for a total transaction of $36,832.32. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,198 shares in the company, valued at $613,762.38. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. Agran Libbie increased its position in Verizon Communications by 9,922.0% in the fourth quarter. Agran Libbie now owns 16,100,284 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $7,442,000 after buying an additional 15,939,635 shares during the period. Boston Partners increased its position in Verizon Communications by 35.7% in the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 13,662,183 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $631,466,000 after buying an additional 3,590,873 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management increased its position in Verizon Communications by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 12,882,775 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $595,441,000 after buying an additional 153,085 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Verizon Communications by 8.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 12,155,993 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $561,919,000 after buying an additional 922,163 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its position in Verizon Communications by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 9,275,030 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $428,692,000 after buying an additional 74,100 shares during the period.

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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