Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the seventeen brokerages that are covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and eight have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $56.07.

Several research firms recently weighed in on VZ. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective for the company in a report on Saturday, January 26th. Tigress Financial restated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, December 28th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th.

In other Verizon Communications news, Director Lowell C. Mcadam sold 285,988 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.72, for a total value of $16,221,239.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 362,932 shares in the company, valued at $20,585,503.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.30, for a total transaction of $81,344.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 29,426 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,774,387.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 288,686 shares of company stock valued at $16,379,639 over the last quarter. 0.03% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in VZ. WP Advisors LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the first quarter worth about $25,000. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth about $34,000. Next Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $35,000. Stone House Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth about $36,000. Finally, TD Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 99.4% during the fourth quarter. TD Capital Management LLC now owns 720 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $40,000 after acquiring an additional 359 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 66.90% of the company’s stock.

Shares of VZ traded down $0.03 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $58.71. 7,174,235 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 14,625,600. The firm has a market capitalization of $242.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.46, a P/E/G ratio of 2.62 and a beta of 0.51. Verizon Communications has a 12-month low of $46.08 and a 12-month high of $61.58. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 29th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $34.28 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.45 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 35.96% and a net margin of 11.87%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.86 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be issued a $0.6025 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.10%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 51.17%.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

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; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms.

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Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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