Vetr cut shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning. Vetr currently has $58.40 target price on the cell phone carrier’s stock.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on VZ. Macquarie reiterated a neutral rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. RBC Capital Markets reiterated a buy rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Morgan Stanley lowered Verizon Communications from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a hold rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Twenty-three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $54.50.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) opened at 52.35 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $213.39 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.79 and a beta of 0.26. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $52.71 and a 200 day moving average price of $52.84. Verizon Communications has a 52-week low of $42.20 and a 52-week high of $56.95.

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

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

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.76, for a total value of $35,454.72. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,526 shares in the company, valued at approximately $555,351.76. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 256,735,733 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $14,336,123,000 after buying an additional 6,630,874 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter valued at approximately $297,331,000. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 60,876,683 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,399,354,000 after buying an additional 3,662,102 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 102.0% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 5,912,820 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $319,765,000 after buying an additional 2,985,510 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 77.6% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 4,649,457 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $259,626,000 after buying an additional 2,031,427 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.47% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

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