Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Short Interest Up 16.4% in January

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) saw a significant increase in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 36,648,806 shares, an increase of 16.4% from the January 12th total of 31,492,809 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 20,275,338 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.8 days. Currently, 0.9% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Verizon Communications (NYSE VZ) opened at $50.11 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $204,420.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.54, a current ratio of 0.91 and a quick ratio of 0.87. Verizon Communications has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $54.77.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $33.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $33.20 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 48.97% and a net margin of 23.88%. The company’s revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.86 EPS. equities analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post 4.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th were given a $0.59 dividend. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 32.07%.

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

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Regal Wealth Group Inc. grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.7% in the second 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. Glassman Wealth Services grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the second quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 7,719 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $345,000 after purchasing an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Camden National Bank grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.7% in the second quarter. Camden National Bank now owns 4,972 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $222,000 after purchasing an additional 37 shares during the last quarter. DF Dent & Co. Inc. grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.6% in the second quarter. DF Dent & Co. Inc. now owns 8,506 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $380,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aureus Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.6% in the second quarter. Aureus Asset Management LLC now owns 11,190 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $500,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.31% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have recently commented on VZ. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on Verizon Communications to $58.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Bank of America upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Scotia Howard Weill upgraded Verizon Communications from a “sector perform” rating to a “sector outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, Howard Weil upgraded Verizon Communications from a “sector perform” rating to a “sector outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $53.37.

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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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