Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the thirty-three brokerages that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twenty-six have issued a hold recommendation and five have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $53.02.

VZ has been the subject of a number of research reports. Vetr downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $52.47 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, February 27th. BTIG Research reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, March 6th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. initiated coverage on Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. They set a “hold” rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 4th. Finally, Barclays PLC reduced their price target on Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $49.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, April 13th.

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Verizon Communications (NYSE VZ) opened at 45.75 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $46.07 and a 200-day moving average of $49.11. The firm has a market cap of $186.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.30 and a beta of 0.56. Verizon Communications has a 12 month low of $44.46 and a 12 month high of $56.95.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 66.99% and a net margin of 9.92%. The business had revenue of $29.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.41 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.06 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be given a dividend of $0.5775 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.05%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 77.00%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.36, for a total value of $28,889.60. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 9,649 shares in the company, valued at $456,976.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 16,362 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.08, for a total value of $753,960.96. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 11,797 shares in the company, valued at approximately $543,605.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 17,582 shares of company stock worth $810,508 in the last quarter. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Concentric Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at $1,752,000. Amtrust Financial Services Inc. purchased a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at $1,095,000. AlphaOne Investment Services LLC increased its position in Verizon Communications by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. AlphaOne Investment Services LLC now owns 11,530 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $615,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. now owns 1,114,934 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $59,515,000 after buying an additional 11,525 shares during the period. Finally, Huff W R Asset Management Co. LLC DE increased its position in Verizon Communications by 17.5% in the fourth quarter. Huff W R Asset Management Co. LLC DE now owns 86,642 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,625,000 after buying an additional 12,918 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.53% of the company’s stock.

About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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