Telefonica (TEF) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “We expect Telefonica to benefit from the launch of video services in several Latin-American markets, widespread adoption of broadband and data services, pricing revision, network enhancement and strategic collaborations, continued focus on organic growth and portfolio optimization. Telefonica is also capitalizing on the opportunities in the digital world. However, over the past three months, share price of Telefonica declined 5.8% as against the industry's loss of 2.0%. The company continues to face stiff competition in the domestic and Latin-American markets.  Notably, in Latin America, Telefonica competes with large global telecom operators like AT&T and America Movil. The fallout of the company’s IPO plans and downgradation by Moody's Investors Service was a major setback, apart from the company’s debt laden balance sheet.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on TEF. Barclays raised Telefonica from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, October 20th. ValuEngine raised Telefonica from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 20th. Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded Telefonica from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Monday, December 11th. Citigroup raised Telefonica to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Raymond James Financial raised Telefonica from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Telefonica currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $11.70.

Shares of Telefonica (TEF) traded down $0.13 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $9.22. The stock had a trading volume of 908,525 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,470,810. Telefonica has a 1-year low of $8.99 and a 1-year high of $11.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $46,448.55, a P/E ratio of 18.44 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79, a quick ratio of 0.62 and a current ratio of 0.67.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acquired a new position in Telefonica in the third quarter valued at approximately $110,000. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Telefonica by 3.1% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 13,355 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $138,000 after purchasing an additional 406 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Telefonica by 72.8% in the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 14,816 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $160,000 after purchasing an additional 6,242 shares in the last quarter. St. James Investment Company LLC acquired a new position in Telefonica in the third quarter valued at approximately $160,000. Finally, Sei Investments Co. boosted its holdings in Telefonica by 40.0% in the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 25,541 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $276,000 after purchasing an additional 7,291 shares in the last quarter. 0.91% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Telefonica

Telefonica, SA is an integrated and diversified telecommunications group operating in Europe and Latin America. The Company’s services and products include Mobile business, Fixed-line telephony business and Digital services. Its segments include Telefonica Spain, Telefonica Brazil, Telefonica Germany, Telefonica United Kingdom and Telefonica Hispanoamerica (formed by the Company’s operators in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Central America, Ecuador and Uruguay).

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