Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the thirty-three ratings firms that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twenty-five have assigned a hold recommendation, five have issued a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $51.63.

VZ has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.26 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 27th. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, April 28th. TheStreet cut Verizon Communications from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Barclays PLC decreased their target price 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. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, April 21st.

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Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) opened at 44.23 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $180.43 billion, a PE ratio of 14.79 and a beta of 0.54. Verizon Communications has a 12-month low of $42.80 and a 12-month high of $56.25. The company’s 50 day moving average is $45.13 and its 200 day moving average is $47.92.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 earnings per share (EPS) 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 business had revenue of $29.81 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.41 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.06 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Verizon Communications will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be issued a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.22%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 77.00%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.36, for a total transaction of $28,889.60. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 9,649 shares in the company, valued at $456,976.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 16,362 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.08, for a total value 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. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 18,192 shares of company stock valued at $837,958. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 12.4% in the fourth quarter. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. now owns 208,074 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $11,107,000 after buying an additional 22,893 shares in the last quarter. Aviva PLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 3,043,473 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $162,522,000 after buying an additional 174,340 shares in the last quarter. Adviser Investments LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $299,000. Greytown Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $758,000. Finally, Stellar Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $559,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.61% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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