Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was upgraded by stock analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $47.44 price objective on the cell phone carrier’s stock. Vetr‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 4.47% from the company’s current price.

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on VZ. Moffett Nathanson raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $53.00 to $54.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 21st. BTIG Research reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, March 6th. Zacks Investment Research cut Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 4th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Finally, Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $49.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-five have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.59.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded down 1.15% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $45.41. The stock had a trading volume of 15,027,226 shares. The firm has a market cap of $185.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.19 and a beta of 0.56. Verizon Communications has a 12 month low of $44.46 and a 12 month high of $56.95. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $46.07 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.11. Verizon Communications also was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Monday. Traders acquired 920 put options on the company. This is an increase of 100% compared to the typical daily volume of 460 put options.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 9.92% and a return on equity of 66.99%. The company had revenue of $29.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.41 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.06 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be given a dividend of $0.5775 per share. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 77.00%.

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In other news, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 16,362 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the executive vice president now owns 11,797 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $543,605.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.66, for a total value of $30,292.60. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,259 shares in the company, valued at approximately $509,461.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 18,192 shares of company stock worth $840,801. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Ronna Sue Cohen increased its position in Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the first quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 4,813 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $235,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Psagot Investment House Ltd. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Psagot Investment House Ltd. now owns 6,032 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $322,000 after buying an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 2.2% in the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,210 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 48 shares in the last quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY increased its position in Verizon Communications by 0.3% in the first quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 19,401 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $946,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cadinha & Co. LLC increased its position in Verizon Communications by 0.3% in the first quarter. Cadinha & Co. LLC now owns 16,543 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $806,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. 62.53% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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

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