Investors Buy Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) on Weakness

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Traders bought shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $177.47 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $110.34 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $67.13 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Verizon Communications had the 14th highest net in-flow for the day. Verizon Communications traded down ($0.22) for the day and closed at $53.57

A number of research firms have recently commented on VZ. Scotiabank set a $62.00 price target on Verizon Communications and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley lowered Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, December 12th. ValuEngine raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Bank of America reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $58.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Saturday, January 26th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.90.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 0.91 and a quick ratio of 0.88. The company has a market cap of $221.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.37, a P/E/G ratio of 2.83 and a beta of 0.48.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 35.96% and a net margin of 11.87%. The firm had revenue of $34.28 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.45 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 10th were paid a dividend of $0.6025 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.47%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.17%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of VZ. Advanced Asset Management Advisors Inc boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 109.0% in the 2nd quarter. Advanced Asset Management Advisors Inc now owns 29,155 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,467,000 after purchasing an additional 15,204 shares during the period. Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management CO. LTD. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 17.4% in the 2nd quarter. Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 235,690 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $11,858,000 after purchasing an additional 34,910 shares during the period. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. now owns 343,400 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $17,276,000 after purchasing an additional 1,508 shares during the period. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 12.0% in the 2nd quarter. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC now owns 242,048 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $12,178,000 after purchasing an additional 25,933 shares during the period. Finally, Adviser Investments LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 546.5% in the 2nd quarter. Adviser Investments LLC now owns 63,010 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,170,000 after purchasing an additional 53,264 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 64.92% of the company’s stock.

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About Verizon Communications (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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