Telefonica (TEF) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Telefonica is successfully capitalizing on the opportunities in the digital world through several growth strategies to improve its long-term prospects. The acquisition of E-Plus has placed the company as the largest mobile service provider in Germany. Moreover, acquisition of GVT has bolstered the company’s position in the Brazilian broadband market. Telefonica continues to experience increased traction in the smartphone market. Telefonica has outperformed the industry in the past six months on an average. However, domestic competition is a major hurdle. The ULL regulation and increased exposure to direct access competitors continue to be primary factors behind wireline telephony access erosion. The company further faces increased competition in Brazil, the largest contributor to its Latin American revenues. Moreover, accumulating debt and decreasing cash flows are likely to pose problems for the company’s credit ratings.”

TEF has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Telefonica in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. ValuEngine lowered Telefonica from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, June 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised Telefonica to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Telefonica currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $11.00.

NYSE:TEF opened at $8.67 on Wednesday. Telefonica has a 52-week low of $8.50 and a 52-week high of $11.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.76. The stock has a market cap of $44.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.32 and a beta of 1.18.

Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter. Telefonica had a return on equity of 14.78% and a net margin of 6.25%. The business had revenue of $14.98 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.96 billion. equities research analysts predict that Telefonica will post 0.92 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 28th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 14th will be paid a $0.2394 dividend. This is a positive change from Telefonica’s previous semiannual dividend of $0.24. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 13th. This represents a dividend yield of 4.79%. Telefonica’s dividend payout ratio is 45.24%.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. CIBC World Markets Inc. boosted its stake in Telefonica by 3,439.4% during the first quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 624,988 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,169,000 after buying an additional 607,330 shares during the last quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Telefonica during the first quarter valued at approximately $108,000. Guggenheim Capital LLC boosted its stake in Telefonica by 12.0% during the first quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 369,574 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,647,000 after buying an additional 39,634 shares during the last quarter. Secrest Blakey & Associates LLC bought a new position in Telefonica during the first quarter valued at approximately $153,000. Finally, Bayesian Capital Management LP bought a new position in Telefonica during the first quarter valued at approximately $202,000. 0.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Telefonica Company Profile

Telefónica, SA provides mobile and fixed communication services primarily in the European Union and Latin America. The company's mobile and related services and products comprise mobile voice, value added, mobile data and Internet, wholesale, corporate, roaming, fixed wireless, and trunking and paging services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Telefonica (NYSE:TEF)

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