Traders sold shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) on strength during trading hours on Thursday. $56.94 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $100.38 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $43.44 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Verizon Communications had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Verizon Communications traded up $0.22 for the day and closed at $52.75

Several research firms have weighed in on VZ. Vetr raised Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $60.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Saturday, August 6th. Imperial Capital downgraded Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $50.00 to $60.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Verizon Communications from $59.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Twenty-three equities 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. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $54.42.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $54.42 and its 200 day moving average is $52.64. The firm has a market cap of $215.02 billion and a P/E ratio of 14.90.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.04 earnings per share. The business earned $30.53 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.95 billion. The business’s revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 8th were issued a $0.565 dividend. This represents a $2.26 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.28%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, July 6th.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.81, for a total value of $36,832.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,198 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $613,762.38. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

Other institutional investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in Verizon Communications by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 35,515,785 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,641,541,000 after buying an additional 247,997 shares in the last quarter. 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 valued at $561,919,000 after buying an additional 922,163 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 14.1% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 9,484,470 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $438,372,000 after buying an additional 1,171,045 shares during the last quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 2,747,995 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $127,006,000 after buying an additional 202,610 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Verizon Communications by 10.9% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,794,295 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $82,932,000 after buying an additional 177,007 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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