Verizon Communications (VZ) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $56.00 price target on the cell phone carrier’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 11.91% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Verizon posted mixed fourth-quarter 2017 results with a massive gain of 1.174 million postpaid customers but lost 0.184 million prepaid customers. Verizon plans to launch 5G wireless residential broadband services in several U.S. markets in 2018. Verizon is planning to launch a theme-based online streaming TV service in 2018, backed by the digital streaming deal with the National Football League (NFL). Verizon is targeting the SMB segment with Fios Current TV video services. The company is boosting its fiber network assets with new buyouts. Verizon expects positive growth in 2018 on the back of the expected savings from tax reform. Over the past three months, the stock price grew 13.4% as against the industry’s gain of 6.1%. However, Verizon continues to struggle in a highly competitive and saturated wireless market. Losses in wireline access lines, marketing costs of promotional plans, competitive video market are other major risks.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.80 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Nomura raised their price objective on Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Bank of America raised their price objective on Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, SunTrust Banks raised their price objective on Verizon Communications to $58.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.51.

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded down $0.07 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $50.04. The company had a trading volume of 7,985,150 shares, compared to its average volume of 18,673,244. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.54, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 0.91. The stock has a market capitalization of $204,220.00, a PE ratio of 6.80, a P/E/G ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.58. Verizon Communications has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $54.77.

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

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications 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 directly owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $154,983.29. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of VZ. Exane Derivatives acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $103,000. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $111,000. Legacy Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth $132,000. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 190.9% during the third quarter. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. now owns 2,705 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 1,775 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Delphi Private Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $141,000. 63.31% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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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