Traders Buy Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) on Weakness

Traders purchased shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) on weakness during trading on Wednesday. $184.57 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $82.41 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $102.16 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Verizon Communications had the 5th highest net in-flow for the day. Verizon Communications traded down ($0.06) for the day and closed at $52.77

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. HSBC downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $54.83 to $42.80 in a report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Instinet upped their target price on Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Nomura raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the company from $47.00 to $61.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. ValuEngine raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company raised Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, November 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.99.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.02. The stock has a market capitalization of $216,250.00, a P/E ratio of 14.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.96 and a beta of 0.57.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be issued a $0.59 dividend. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.45%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 60.51%.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’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 sale, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $154,983.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $88,609 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Capital Research Global Investors lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.1% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 153,408,016 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,851,202,000 after buying an additional 20,070,391 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.0% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 61,833,096 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,761,466,000 after buying an additional 8,077,275 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 282,894,542 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $12,634,070,000 after buying an additional 5,837,702 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 7,639.8% during the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 3,877,541 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $191,847,000 after buying an additional 3,827,442 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 19.9% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 21,820,729 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $974,515,000 after buying an additional 3,623,182 shares during the period. 63.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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