Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday, August 6th.
According to Zacks, “Verizon reported strong second-quarter 2018 results beating top- & bottom-line estimates. The company expects healthy improvement in margins on the back of strong FiOS fiber-optic network and strategic services in the Wireline business. Verizon plans to launch next-generation 5G wireless residential broadband services in three to five U.S. markets in 2018. Management remains bullish on the industry's ability to grow revenues from smartphones and cloud computing. The stock has outperformed the industry in the past year on an average. However, the company continues to struggle in a highly competitive and saturated wireless market, where spectrum crunch has become a major issue. Verizon’s wireline division is struggling with persistent losses in access lines owing to competitive pressure from voice-over-Internet protocol service providers and aggressive triple-play offerings by cable companies which are likely to weigh on its top line.”
Several other analysts have also commented on VZ. Barclays upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $56.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 23rd. UBS Group upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. William Blair reiterated a market perform rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, May 11th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $55.42.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $32.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.78 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 23.88% and a return on equity of 38.62%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.96 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post 4.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 10th were paid a $0.59 dividend. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.34%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, July 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 63.10%.
Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Formidable Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 20.9% in the fourth quarter. Formidable Asset Management LLC now owns 16,469 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $874,000 after purchasing an additional 2,852 shares in the last quarter. Delphi Private Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $141,000. Matrix Asset Advisors Inc. NY grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Matrix Asset Advisors Inc. NY now owns 186,021 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $9,846,000 after purchasing an additional 12,448 shares in the last quarter. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 12.1% in the fourth quarter. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC now owns 23,549 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,246,000 after purchasing an additional 2,550 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Tennessee Treasury Department grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 24.6% in the fourth quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 2,631,941 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $139,309,000 after purchasing an additional 520,417 shares in the last quarter. 64.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Verizon Communications
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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