Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was downgraded by investment analysts at Drexel Hamilton from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on VZ. Vetr cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $52.38 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, January 2nd. Citigroup Inc. raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $52.25 to $53.38 in a research note on Tuesday, January 3rd. Nomura reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, September 12th. HSBC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, September 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.19.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded down 0.806% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $52.335. 7,023,838 shares of the stock were exchanged. Verizon Communications has a 12-month low of $43.79 and a 12-month high of $56.95. The firm has a market cap of $213.35 billion, a PE ratio of 15.254 and a beta of 0.40. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $52.09 and a 200 day moving average price of $52.02.

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Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.99 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $30.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.08 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 10.97% and a return on equity of 78.75%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.04 EPS. Analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be given a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, January 6th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.01. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.38%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 67.15%.

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In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.76, for a total transaction of $32,094.72. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 9,182 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $438,532.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 668 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total value of $32,925.72. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,047 shares in the company, valued at $298,056.63. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Guidant Wealth Advisors purchased a new position in Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth about $107,000. Solaris Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth about $125,000. Lowe fs LLC raised its position in Verizon Communications by 3.0% in the third quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,426 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners raised its position in Verizon Communications by 15.2% in the second quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners now owns 2,275 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ruggie Capital Group raised its position in Verizon Communications by 0.3% in the third quarter. Ruggie Capital Group now owns 2,649 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. 62.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Verizon Communications

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

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