Verizon Communications Sees Unusually High Options Volume (NYSE:VZ)


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Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 291,647 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 962% compared to the average daily volume of 27,458 call options.

Shares of Verizon Communications stock opened at $59.00 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $244.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.80, a PEG ratio of 3.54 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.96. Verizon Communications has a one year low of $52.85 and a one year high of $61.95. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $56.65 and a two-hundred day moving average of $58.04.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, January 25th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.21 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $34.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.47 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.76% and a return on equity of 32.15%. Verizon Communications’s quarterly revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.13 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 9th will be given a dividend of $0.6275 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 8th. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.25%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 52.18%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,555 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.60, for a total value of $86,458.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 27,256 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,515,433.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Weil Company Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 134.9% in the 4th quarter. Weil Company Inc. now owns 18,561 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,090,000 after purchasing an additional 10,658 shares in the last quarter. Donoghue Forlines LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at about $1,077,000. Klaas Financial Asset Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at about $26,000. Asset Management Corp IL ADV increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 355.1% in the 4th quarter. Asset Management Corp IL ADV now owns 47,612 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,732,000 after purchasing an additional 37,149 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ProVise Management Group LLC increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.5% in the 4th quarter. ProVise Management Group LLC now owns 69,631 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,091,000 after purchasing an additional 2,341 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.85% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on VZ. Oppenheimer restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, March 3rd. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, March 11th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $59.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 19th. Scotiabank cut shares of Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 25th. Finally, Tigress Financial upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 30th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $62.06.

About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc offers communications, technology, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides postpaid and prepaid service plans; internet access on notebook computers and tablets; wireless equipment, including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled internet devices, such as tablets, and other wireless-enabled connected devices, such as smart watches.

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