Vetr Inc. Lowers Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) to Hold

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was downgraded by research analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. They currently have a $51.51 target price on the cell phone carrier’s stock. Vetr‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 2.53% from the company’s previous close.

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BTIG Research reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, March 6th. Moffett Nathanson raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $53.00 to $54.00 in a report on Tuesday, February 21st. Evercore ISI reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, February 16th. Instinet reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, February 16th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, February 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-five have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.53.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded down 0.30% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $50.24. The stock had a trading volume of 9,455,972 shares. The stock has a market cap of $204.81 billion, a PE ratio of 15.65 and a beta of 0.43. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $49.26 and a 200 day moving average price of $50.48. Verizon Communications has a one year low of $46.01 and a one year high of $56.95.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.89 by $0.03. The firm earned $32.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.12 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 72.75% and a net margin of 10.42%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.89 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post $3.85 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.5775 per share. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 71.74%.

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In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 32,254 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.92, for a total transaction of $1,610,119.68. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 28,159 shares in the company, valued at $1,405,697.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Roger Gurnani sold 10,804 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.29, for a total transaction of $543,333.16. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 63,734 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,205,182.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 55,553 shares of company stock valued at $2,756,586 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Dodge & Cox purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $294,000. Access Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $458,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $661,000. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $1,712,958,000. Finally, Sowell Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $4,851,000. Institutional investors own 63.38% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The Company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its wireless and wireline networks.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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