Investors Purchase Large Volume of Call Options on Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Investors purchased 24,016 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 147% compared to the typical daily volume of 9,724 call options.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total transaction of $27,450.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 8,429 shares in the company, valued at approximately $379,305. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders have sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229 in the last quarter. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Sunbelt Securities Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $115,000. Franklin Parlapiano Turner & Welch LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at about $136,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 35.3% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 2,609 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 680 shares during the period. American Beacon Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at about $140,000. Finally, Proficio Capital Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 139.8% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 3,158 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 1,841 shares during the period. 62.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on VZ. Barclays PLC decreased their price objective on Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $49.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 13th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. began coverage on Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $50.00 price objective on the stock. Argus lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 21st. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Finally, Macquarie reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $49.00 target price (down from $50.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.73.

Verizon Communications (VZ) traded down 0.53% on Tuesday, reaching $48.60. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,841,036 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $198.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.49 and a beta of 0.56. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $45.22 and its 200-day moving average price is $47.48. Verizon Communications has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. The company had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.94 EPS. Verizon Communications’s quarterly revenue was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post $3.79 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a $0.5775 dividend. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 59.23%.

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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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