Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by equities research analysts at Jefferies Group in a research note issued on Monday.

VZ has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, June 6th. Imperial Capital lowered shares of Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $50.00 to $60.00 in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, August 26th. Macquarie reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Vetr raised shares of 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. Twenty-three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.50.

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) opened at 51.27 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $208.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.48 and a beta of 0.26. Verizon Communications has a 12 month low of $42.20 and a 12 month high of $56.95. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $52.81 and a 200-day moving average of $52.85.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $30.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.95 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 11.10% and a return on equity of 87.41%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.04 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be issued a $0.0125 dividend. This represents a $0.05 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 63.84%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.81, for a total value of $36,832.32. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 11,198 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $613,762.38. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. Taylor Wealth Management Partners increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 15.2% in the second quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners now owns 2,275 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Lowe fs LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,356 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. First National Bank Sioux Falls increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 8.7% in the second quarter. First National Bank Sioux Falls now owns 3,408 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $190,000 after buying an additional 272 shares during the last quarter. Fenimore Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth about $202,000. Finally, Family Firm Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth about $203,000. 63.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Verizon Communications

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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