Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Investors acquired 10,796 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 102% compared to the typical daily volume of 5,342 put options.

Verizon Communications (VZ) opened at 49.90 on Thursday. Verizon Communications has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $54.83. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $48.33 and a 200 day moving average of $47.07. The company has a market capitalization of $203.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.83 and a beta of 0.56.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The business had revenue of $30.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.84 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.94 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post $3.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.73%. This is a boost from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 6th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is presently 59.23%.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on VZ. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upped their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $48.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have issued a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.86.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.65, for a total value 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 sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $88,828. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Franklin Parlapiano Turner & Welch LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $136,000. American Beacon Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $140,000. Proficio Capital Partners LLC lifted its stake in Verizon Communications by 139.8% during the 1st quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 3,158 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $142,000 after acquiring an additional 1,841 shares during the period. Private Vista LLC lifted its stake in Verizon Communications by 3,339.1% during the 2nd quarter. Private Vista LLC now owns 389,552 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $143,000 after acquiring an additional 378,225 shares during the period. Finally, Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $156,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.24% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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