Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday, July 7th.

According to Zacks, “Verizon has started conducting 5G wireless network trials in 11 U.S. cities with plans to deploy its fixed wireless version in 2018. However, a full-phased 5G wireless network will be offered only in 2020. Verizon is gearing up to launch an online TV streaming service later this year. Buyout of Yahoo will boost Verizon’s digital media suite. The deal will create a major player in the mobile media and advertising space. The deal to buy Straight Path Communications complements its 5G wireless expansion strategies. Verizon’s unlimited data plans have heated up the wireless industry. Verizon is on track to bolster its foothold in the fiber and Internet of Things space through different deals. Over the past three months, the stock price underperformed the Zacks Wireless National industry. Saturated and competitive wireless market, costs related to promotions and discounts, competitive video market, access line losses are risks to Verizon.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.26 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, March 27th. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, April 28th. TheStreet downgraded Verizon Communications from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a report on Thursday, April 27th. Barclays PLC dropped 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. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, April 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.73.

Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) traded up 0.62% during trading on Friday, reaching $48.91. 13,841,720 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $199.50 billion, a PE ratio of 12.57 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $45.05 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.46. Verizon Communications has a 1-year low of $42.80 and a 1-year high of $54.83.

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

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In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.34, for a total value of $27,657.40. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 9,039 shares in the company, valued at $409,828.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders have sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $84,229 in the last quarter. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Ronna Sue Cohen raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the second quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 4,832 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $216,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the period. Oakmont Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.3% in the second quarter. Oakmont Partners LLC now owns 6,391 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $285,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the period. Conservest Capital Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.5% in the second quarter. Conservest Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 5,024 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $224,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the period. Nottingham Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.5% in the second quarter. Nottingham Advisors Inc. now owns 6,425 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $287,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the period. Finally, Camden National Bank raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.7% in the second quarter. Camden National Bank now owns 4,972 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $222,000 after buying an additional 37 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.52% of the company’s stock.

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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