Vetr Inc. Lowers Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) to Hold

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday. They presently have a $51.51 price objective on the cell phone carrier’s stock. Vetr‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 5.86% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on VZ. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, December 16th. Citigroup Inc reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, January 24th. Instinet reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, February 16th. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lowered Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $56.95 to $54.00 in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.53.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) opened at 48.66 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $198.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.16 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a 50 day moving average of $49.40 and a 200-day moving average of $50.40. Verizon Communications has a one year low of $46.01 and a one year high of $56.95.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 10.42% and a return on equity of 72.75%. The business had revenue of $32.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.12 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.89 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue was down 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post $3.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 10th will be paid a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.75%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is presently 71.74%.

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In related news, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 32,254 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.92, for a total value of $1,610,119.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 28,159 shares in the company, valued at $1,405,697.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Monday, March 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.66, for a total value of $30,292.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 10,259 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $509,461.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 56,163 shares of company stock valued at $2,786,879 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY raised its position in Verizon Communications by 1.3% in the third quarter. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY now owns 89,836 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $4,670,000 after buying an additional 1,140 shares during the period. Boltwood Capital Management raised its position in Verizon Communications by 1.1% in the third quarter. Boltwood Capital Management now owns 32,572 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,693,000 after buying an additional 360 shares during the period. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services raised its position in Verizon Communications by 16.5% in the third quarter. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services now owns 51,161 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,659,000 after buying an additional 7,236 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in Verizon Communications by 125.3% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,876,110 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $97,520,000 after buying an additional 1,043,420 shares during the period. Finally, Eqis Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 64.3% in the third quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 32,149 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,671,000 after buying an additional 12,587 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.38% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

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