Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Vodafone AirTouch Plc is the world’s largest international mobile communications firm. Their primary operation is in digital and analog cellular telephone networks of Vodafone. “

Several other research firms have also recently commented on VOD. BidaskClub raised Vodafone Group from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 31st. UBS Group reissued a buy rating on shares of Vodafone Group in a report on Tuesday, August 7th. Deutsche Bank reissued a buy rating on shares of Vodafone Group in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Bank of America cut Vodafone Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, August 30th. Finally, Standpoint Research raised Vodafone Group from a reduce rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Vodafone Group presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $33.36.

VOD opened at $19.51 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.27, a current ratio of 1.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70. The company has a market capitalization of $52.28 billion, a PE ratio of 14.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 0.88. Vodafone Group has a 12 month low of $18.45 and a 12 month high of $32.75.

The company also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 1st. Investors of record on Friday, November 23rd will be paid a $0.5455 dividend. This represents a yield of 5.36%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 21st. Vodafone Group’s payout ratio is currently 172.79%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in Vodafone Group by 149.8% during the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 5,321 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $129,000 after buying an additional 3,191 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its position in Vodafone Group by 722.6% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 5,462 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 4,798 shares in the last quarter. Palo Capital Inc. purchased a new position in Vodafone Group during the third quarter worth $126,000. Bay Colony Advisory Group Inc d b a Bay Colony Advisors purchased a new position in Vodafone Group during the second quarter worth $143,000. Finally, NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc purchased a new position in Vodafone Group during the second quarter worth $153,000. 9.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Vodafone Group

Vodafone Group Plc engages in telecommunication services in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific. The company's consumer products include mobile services, such as call, text, and data; broadband; television offerings and voice; mobile money services through M-pesa; Giga TV, an advanced digital service; and converged communication solutions, such as GigaKombi, Vodafone One Net Enterprise, Vodafone One, and Vodafone Meet Anywhere.

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