Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s share price hit a new 52-week high on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $55.42 and last traded at $55.14, with a volume of 621347 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $54.86.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Barclays lowered shares of Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $56.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. Moffett Nathanson reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $58.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.17.

The stock has a market capitalization of $225.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.69, a PEG ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 0.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.04, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 0.96.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.06. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 23.88% and a return on equity of 38.62%. The business had revenue of $32.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.78 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.96 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.6025 per share. This represents a $2.41 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.39%. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 63.10%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. SP Asset Management acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth about $218,000. FMR LLC grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 8.6% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 69,165,256 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,479,704,000 after buying an additional 5,481,532 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 49.7% during the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 16,657 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $838,000 after buying an additional 5,532 shares in the last quarter. Truvestments Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth about $1,732,000. Finally, BDO Wealth Advisors LLC grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 13.1% during the second quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 13,144 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $661,000 after buying an additional 1,525 shares in the last quarter. 64.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; multimedia, business-focused, and location-based services, as well as international travel services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.

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