Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) Sets New 1-Year High Following Analyst Upgrade

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZGet Free Report)’s stock price reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Tuesday after Citigroup raised their price target on the stock from $45.00 to $47.00. Citigroup currently has a buy rating on the stock. Verizon Communications traded as high as $42.52 and last traded at $42.52, with a volume of 9872350 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $42.05.

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the company. Barclays boosted their price target on Verizon Communications from $42.00 to $44.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, January 26th. Raymond James boosted their price target on Verizon Communications from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. UBS Group boosted their price target on Verizon Communications from $37.00 to $43.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Daiwa Capital Markets raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $36.00 to $47.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on Verizon Communications from $40.00 to $44.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $44.62.

View Our Latest Stock Analysis on VZ

Insider Buying and Selling

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 3,340 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.29, for a total value of $127,888.60. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 46,295 shares in the company, valued at $1,772,635.55. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 3,340 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.29, for a total transaction of $127,888.60. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 46,295 shares in the company, valued at $1,772,635.55. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 23,380 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.00, for a total value of $888,440.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 49,635 shares in the company, valued at $1,886,130. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.02% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Verizon Communications

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BCK Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the first quarter worth approximately $2,101,000. Axiom Financial Strategies LLC raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 8.9% in the first quarter. Axiom Financial Strategies LLC now owns 5,980 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $279,000 after buying an additional 487 shares during the period. Ergoteles LLC raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 174.0% in the first quarter. Ergoteles LLC now owns 91,776 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $4,675,000 after buying an additional 58,283 shares during the period. Mackenzie Financial Corp raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 10.5% in the first quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 1,194,111 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $60,828,000 after buying an additional 113,032 shares during the period. Finally, First Western Trust Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the first quarter worth approximately $567,000. 61.06% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Verizon Communications Stock Performance

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.47, a current ratio of 0.69 and a quick ratio of 0.65. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $38.76 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $35.42. The stock has a market capitalization of $178.09 billion, a PE ratio of 15.35, a P/E/G ratio of 3.20 and a beta of 0.41.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.08. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 20.71% and a net margin of 8.67%. The company had revenue of $35.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.60 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.19 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.6 EPS for the current year.

Verizon Communications Dividend Announcement

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.665 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.66 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.28%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 96.38%.

About Verizon Communications

(Get Free Report)

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, technology, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. It operates in two segments, Verizon Consumer Group (Consumer) and Verizon Business Group (Business).

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