Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Traders purchased 489,385 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 2,890% compared to the average volume of 16,365 call options.

Verizon Communications (VZ) opened at $51.69 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a current ratio of 1.07. Verizon Communications has a fifty-two week low of $42.80 and a fifty-two week high of $53.69. The company has a market cap of $210,870.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.25, a PEG ratio of 4.80 and a beta of 0.57.

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

The business also recently declared 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 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 60.51%.

Several research firms have issued reports on VZ. KeyCorp lifted their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “sector weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. HSBC cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $54.83 to $42.80 in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Instinet lifted their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Nomura upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $47.00 to $61.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $51.98.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total value of $28,920.10. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares in the company, valued at $154,983.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 2nd quarter valued at $623,000. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 190.9% in the 3rd quarter. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. now owns 2,705 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $134,000 after purchasing an additional 1,775 shares during the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 3rd quarter valued at $132,000. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 2nd quarter valued at $156,000. Finally, Regal Wealth Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Regal Wealth Group Inc. now owns 3,682 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $164,000 after purchasing an additional 24 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.21% of the company’s stock.

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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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