Zacks Investment Research Lowers Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) to Sell
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Verizon’s wireline division is struggling with persistent losses in access lines. Also, the U.S. wireless market has become almost saturated and is witnessing intensified cut-throat pricing competition day by day. These may act as near-term headwinds for the company. Moreover, in the light of Yahoo's recent hacking scandal, the valuation of its core assets by Verizon has come into question. Additionally, spectrum crunch is a major issue for wireless carriers and if Verizon fails to bag substantial bands of the 600 Mhz spectrum in the ongoing auction, the company’s business prospects could be hurt. However, its investment in the IoT space and impending launch of 5G services are expected to be the major growth drivers going forward.”
Several other research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Vetr downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.60 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, October 3rd. HSBC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, September 19th. Nomura reissued a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, August 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-three have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.46.
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Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded up 0.4287% on Wednesday, reaching $50.4855. 4,877,489 shares of the company traded hands. Verizon Communications has a one year low of $43.79 and a one year high of $56.95. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $51.64 and its 200-day moving average price is $52.56. The stock has a market capitalization of $205.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.2614 and a beta of 0.30.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $30.53 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.95 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 11.10% and a return on equity of 87.41%. The business’s revenue was down 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.04 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be given a $0.0125 dividend. This represents a $0.05 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 65.25%.
In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.40, for a total value of $35,212.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 9,854 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $516,349.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 5.1% in the third quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 232,924 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $12,107,000 after buying an additional 11,217 shares during the last quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 12.0% in the third quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 343,372 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $17,848,000 after buying an additional 36,802 shares during the last quarter. RNC Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.3% in the third quarter. RNC Capital Management LLC now owns 515,796 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $26,811,000 after buying an additional 11,518 shares during the last quarter. Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors LP raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.2% in the third quarter. Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors LP now owns 8,189 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $426,000 after buying an additional 98 shares during the last quarter. Finally, GW&K Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 50.5% in the third quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 562,474 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $29,237,000 after buying an additional 188,837 shares during the last quarter. 63.46% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Verizon Communications Company Profile
Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The Company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its wireless and wireline networks.
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