Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) Stock Price Up 0.5% Following Analyst Upgrade

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZGet Free Report)’s stock price shot up 0.5% during trading on Wednesday after Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on the stock from $36.00 to $40.00. Royal Bank of Canada currently has a sector perform rating on the stock. Verizon Communications traded as high as $42.84 and last traded at $42.76. 4,886,038 shares were traded during trading, a decline of 76% from the average session volume of 19,968,365 shares. The stock had previously closed at $42.54.

VZ has been the subject of several other research reports. KeyCorp raised their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $45.00 to $46.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Raymond James raised their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Daiwa Capital Markets upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $36.00 to $47.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Tigress Financial lifted their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $45.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, Redburn Atlantic upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $33.00 to $39.00 in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $44.50.

Read Our Latest Stock Report on VZ

Insider Transactions at Verizon Communications

In other news, CEO Kyle Malady sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.33, for a total value of $604,950.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 59,201 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,387,576.33. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.03% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Verizon Communications

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 88,532.0% in the fourth quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 79,084,569 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,115,932,000 after acquiring an additional 78,995,341 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,882,164,000. Capital World Investors increased its position in Verizon Communications by 127.6% during the 4th quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 21,801,067 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $821,900,000 after purchasing an additional 12,220,777 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Verizon Communications by 21.4% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 67,976,459 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,678,273,000 after purchasing an additional 11,987,691 shares during the period. Finally, Capital Research Global Investors increased its position in Verizon Communications by 92.9% during the 4th quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 22,599,173 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $851,989,000 after purchasing an additional 10,882,873 shares during the period. 62.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Verizon Communications Price Performance

The firm has a market cap of $179.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.49, a P/E/G ratio of 3.43 and a beta of 0.41. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $40.74 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $37.60. The company has a current ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.47.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZGet Free Report) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.08. The business had revenue of $35.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.60 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 8.67% and a return on equity of 20.71%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.19 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Verizon Communications Announces Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be given a dividend of $0.665 per share. This represents a $2.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 96.38%.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, engages in the provision of 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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