Traders Buy Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) on Weakness

Traders bought shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $155.33 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $107.27 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $48.06 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Verizon Communications had the 7th highest net in-flow for the day. Verizon Communications traded down ($0.71) for the day and closed at $46.20

Several analysts recently commented on VZ shares. Vetr raised Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $50.65 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Sunday, July 9th. BidaskClub raised Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.73.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $47.64 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.22. The company has a market cap of $188.10 billion, a PE ratio of 11.85 and a beta of 0.57.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96. The firm had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. Verizon Communications’s quarterly revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.94 EPS. Analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.78 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.12%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 6th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 59.23%.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $379,305. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In the last three months, insiders have sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $86,248. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VZ. Capital Research Global Investors raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.1% in 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 raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.0% in 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. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.1% in 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. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 19.9% in 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. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 52.6% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 9,014,846 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $402,604,000 after buying an additional 3,107,054 shares during the period. 62.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Verizon Communications

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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