Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the thirty-one ratings firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twenty-two have assigned a hold recommendation, five have assigned a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $51.10.

Several brokerages have commented on VZ. Argus downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 21st. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Instinet reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 price objective (down from $47.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Sunday, July 9th.

Verizon Communications (NYSE VZ) opened at 47.89 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $45.92 and a 200-day moving average price of $47.30. The firm has a market cap of $195.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.31 and a beta of 0.56. Verizon Communications has a 1-year low of $42.80 and a 1-year high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96. The firm had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.94 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post $3.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th were paid a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.82%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is presently 59.23%.

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In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $27,450.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 8,429 shares in the company, valued at approximately $379,305. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. LeJeune Puetz Investment Counsel LLC acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $1,623,000. Archford Capital Strategies LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 59,775 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,189,000 after buying an additional 1,641 shares during the last quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $4,496,000. RB Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $830,000. Finally, Empire Life Investments Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $23,275,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.33% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

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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