Verizon Communications (VZ) Reaches New 1-Year High After Analyst Upgrade

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Tuesday after Morgan Stanley raised their price target on the stock from $56.00 to $58.00. Morgan Stanley currently has an overweight rating on the stock. Verizon Communications traded as high as $58.80 and last traded at $58.18, with a volume of 24920871 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $56.48.

A number of other research analysts have also commented on VZ. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 25th. Scotiabank set a $61.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. ValuEngine raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, Barclays lowered shares of Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $56.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.93.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of VZ. Catalyst Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth approximately $103,000. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth approximately $107,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth approximately $128,000. Rainier Group Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth approximately $134,000. Finally, Elmwood Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth approximately $146,000. 64.25% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The company has a current ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90. The company has a market cap of $229.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.26, a P/E/G ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 0.71.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 24.71% and a return on equity of 35.50%. The business had revenue of $32.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.45 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.98 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.6025 per share. This is a boost from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is 64.44%.

Verizon Communications Company Profile (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; multimedia, business-focused, and location-based services, as well as international travel services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.

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