Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Frontier Communications is expanding broadband services in rural areas, with the help of FCC CAF-II funding. The company’s focus to rake in more profits through customer retention, market share gain, new product introductions, broadband expansion and improved sales and marketing initiatives, looks good. The company is working on its growing Business Service Segment. Foraying into North Carolina with the rollout of ‘Vantage TV’ IPTV and broadband services also bode well. Over the past three months, the stock price declined 38.6% as against the industry’s loss of 23.2%. Persistent decline in access lines, loss of legacy fixed telephony business to wireless, decline in wireless backhaul revenues and declining subscriber statistics, continue to bother the company’s growth prospects. Frontier’s FiOS customers in the Seattle area lost access to Cox Media Group’s KIRO-TV programming.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on FTR. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $16.00 price target on shares of Frontier Communications in a report on Sunday, September 17th. BidaskClub cut Frontier Communications from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Saturday, September 16th. Deutsche Bank lowered their price objective on Frontier Communications from $17.00 to $15.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a market perform rating and issued a $9.00 price objective (down from $14.50) on shares of Frontier Communications in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, UBS Group lowered their price objective on Frontier Communications from $15.00 to $13.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Frontier Communications currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $9.77.

Frontier Communications (FTR) traded up $0.58 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $8.30. The company had a trading volume of 2,639,479 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,380,000. Frontier Communications has a 12-month low of $6.08 and a 12-month high of $53.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.16, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a current ratio of 0.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $651.20, a PE ratio of -0.60 and a beta of 0.52.

Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported ($0.94) EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.95) by $0.01. Frontier Communications had a negative return on equity of 1.97% and a negative net margin of 9.17%. The firm had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.25 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned ($0.64) earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.8% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Frontier Communications will post -4.16 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 28.92%. Frontier Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently -17.45%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Shelton Capital Management purchased a new position in Frontier Communications in the second quarter valued at $111,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in Frontier Communications in the second quarter valued at $113,000. Quantbot Technologies LP purchased a new position in Frontier Communications in the third quarter valued at $124,000. MML Investors Services LLC boosted its holdings in Frontier Communications by 204.3% in the second quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 118,366 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after purchasing an additional 79,473 shares during the period. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP purchased a new position in Frontier Communications in the third quarter valued at $138,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.90% of the company’s stock.

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About Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications Corporation (Frontier) is a provider of communications services in the United States. The Company offers a portfolio of communications services for residential and business customers. Its products and services include data and Internet services, video services, voice services, access services and customer premise equipment (CPE).

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