Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was downgraded by stock analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday. They presently have a $51.51 target price on the cell phone carrier’s stock. Vetr‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 2.53% from the stock’s previous close.

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $56.95 to $54.00 in a research note on Monday, January 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, January 16th. Citigroup Inc reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, January 24th. HSBC Holdings plc raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 19th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $53.00 to $54.00 in a report on Tuesday, February 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-five have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.53.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded down 0.30% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $50.24. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,455,972 shares. Verizon Communications has a 12-month low of $46.01 and a 12-month high of $56.95. The stock has a market cap of $204.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.65 and a beta of 0.43. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $49.26 and its 200 day moving average is $50.48.

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Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.89 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 72.75% and a net margin of 10.42%. The firm earned $32.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.12 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.89 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post $3.85 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 10th will be given a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.60%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 71.74%.

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In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 12,495 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.27, for a total transaction of $603,133.65. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 16,058 shares in the company, valued at approximately $775,119.66. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 32,254 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.92, for a total transaction of $1,610,119.68. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 28,159 shares in the company, valued at $1,405,697.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 55,553 shares of company stock worth $2,756,586. 0.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,712,958,000. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 17.9% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 48,743,437 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,601,925,000 after buying an additional 7,388,078 shares during the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 1,244.2% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 7,366,887 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $393,444,000 after buying an additional 6,818,838 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 166,049,068 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $8,863,705,000 after buying an additional 5,406,022 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 19.9% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 29,966,112 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,557,638,000 after buying an additional 4,982,419 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.38% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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