Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Friday. Stock investors purchased 2,072 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 106% compared to the average daily volume of 1,006 call options.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.66, for a total transaction of $30,292.60. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,259 shares in the company, valued at approximately $509,461.94. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 16,362 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.08, for a total transaction of $753,960.96. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 11,797 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $543,605.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 49,836 shares of company stock valued at $2,423,263. Company insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Concentric Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $1,752,000. Amtrust Financial Services Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $1,095,000. Mcmillion Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.8% in the third quarter. Mcmillion Capital Management Inc. now owns 82,604 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $4,294,000 after buying an additional 3,048 shares during the last quarter. Huff W R Asset Management Co. LLC DE boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 17.5% in the fourth quarter. Huff W R Asset Management Co. LLC DE now owns 86,642 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $4,625,000 after buying an additional 12,918 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AlphaOne Investment Services LLC boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. AlphaOne Investment Services LLC now owns 11,530 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $615,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. 63.38% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded up 0.210% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $45.405. 2,850,864 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $185.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.186 and a beta of 0.43. Verizon Communications has a 52 week low of $44.46 and a 52 week high of $56.95. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $46.77 and a 200 day moving average price of $49.37.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $29.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.41 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 72.75% and a net margin of 10.42%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.06 EPS. Analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post $3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 10th were given a dividend of $0.5775 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.10%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 71.74%.

Several research firms have recently commented on VZ. Vetr cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $52.47 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, February 27th. BTIG Research restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, March 6th. Evercore ISI began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, January 30th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $53.00 target price for the company. SunTrust Banks, Inc. began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $50.00 target price for the company. Finally, Moffett Nathanson upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $53.00 to $54.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 21st. Twenty-five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.54.

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About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:VZ

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