Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the target of unusually large options trading on Monday. Traders bought 27,514 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 160% compared to the typical daily volume of 10,571 call options.

Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) opened at 49.48 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $201.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.72 and a beta of 0.57. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $48.00 and its 200 day moving average price is $47.06. Verizon Communications has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.96. The business had revenue of $30.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The business’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.94 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post $3.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be issued a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. This is a boost from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.77%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 59.23%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.65, for a total transaction of $29,676.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 7,209 shares in the company, valued at $350,717.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders have sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $86,248 in the last quarter. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Excalibur Management Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.7% in the first quarter. Excalibur Management Corp now owns 123,976 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $6,044,000 after acquiring an additional 6,723 shares in the last quarter. Allegis Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 9.0% in the first quarter. Allegis Investment Advisors LLC now owns 59,067 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,880,000 after acquiring an additional 4,898 shares in the last quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.8% in the first quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 4,358,480 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $179,129,000 after acquiring an additional 277,129 shares in the last quarter. Edge Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.4% in the first quarter. Edge Wealth Management LLC now owns 283,113 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $13,824,000 after acquiring an additional 3,887 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the first quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 33,945 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,655,000 after acquiring an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have recently commented on VZ shares. TheStreet upgraded Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $47.44 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Barclays PLC cut their target price on Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $53.00.

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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.

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