Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the target of a significant increase in short interest during the month of November. As of November 30th, there was short interest totalling 36,476,564 shares, an increase of 8.2% from the November 15th total of 33,709,347 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 18,833,281 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.9 days. Approximately 0.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) opened at $52.67 on Friday. Verizon Communications has a 1-year low of $42.80 and a 1-year high of $54.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $213,517.94, a P/E ratio of 13.96, a PEG ratio of 4.92 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a current ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 58.66% and a net margin of 12.80%. The company had revenue of $31.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post 3.77 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.48%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 60.51%.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on VZ. HSBC downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $54.83 to $42.80 in a research report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Instinet boosted their price target on Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Nomura raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $47.00 to $61.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. ValuEngine raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.99.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total value of $28,920.10. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $154,983.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $88,609. 0.13% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Whitnell & Co. lifted its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.2% during the second quarter. Whitnell & Co. now owns 10,316 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $461,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares during the last quarter. Allegis Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Verizon Communications by 9.0% during the first quarter. Allegis Investment Advisors LLC now owns 59,067 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,880,000 after purchasing an additional 4,898 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale lifted its stake in Verizon Communications by 4.6% during the second quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 1,673,761 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $74,961,000 after purchasing an additional 72,980 shares during the last quarter. Segantii Capital Management Ltd bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth $6,094,000. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.3% during the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 10,704,239 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $478,051,000 after purchasing an additional 136,700 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.37% 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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