Verizon Communications’ (VZ) “Hold” Rating Reaffirmed at Cowen and Company

Cowen and Company reissued their hold rating on shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) in a report released on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has a $49.00 price objective on the cell phone carrier’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on VZ. Bank of America Corporation restated a buy rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Saturday, June 17th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Verizon Communications from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Argus downgraded Verizon Communications from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Barclays PLC cut their price target on Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a hold rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-six have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $53.23.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded up 0.69% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $43.75. 4,677,379 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.20 and its 200-day moving average price is $47.95. The stock has a market cap of $178.47 billion, a PE ratio of 14.63 and a beta of 0.54. Verizon Communications has a one year low of $42.80 and a one year high of $56.25.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $29.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.41 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 9.92% and a return on equity of 66.99%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.06 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be paid a $0.5775 dividend. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 77.00%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.36, for a total transaction of $28,889.60. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 9,649 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $456,976.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 16,362 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.08, for a total value of $753,960.96. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,797 shares in the company, valued at approximately $543,605.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 18,192 shares of company stock worth $837,958. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Sunbelt Securities Inc. bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at $115,000. Franklin Parlapiano Turner & Welch LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at $136,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC increased its position in 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 in the last quarter. American Beacon Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at $140,000. Finally, Proficio Capital Partners LLC increased its position in 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 in the last quarter. 62.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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