Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by Jefferies Group in a report issued on Monday.

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on VZ. Citigroup Inc. lowered Verizon Communications to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Drexel Hamilton reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, May 24th. Morgan Stanley lowered Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. RBC Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Twenty-three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $54.50.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded down 1.475% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $51.115. The stock had a trading volume of 4,951,973 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $53.30 and its 200-day moving average is $52.85. Verizon Communications has a 1-year low of $42.20 and a 1-year high of $56.95. The stock has a market capitalization of $208.36 billion, a PE ratio of 14.439 and a beta of 0.26.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $30.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.95 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 87.41% and a net margin of 11.10%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.04 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post $3.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be issued a $0.0125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $0.05 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.10%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 63.84%.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.81, for a total value of $36,832.32. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 11,198 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $613,762.38. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Taylor Wealth Management Partners boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 15.2% in the second quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners now owns 2,275 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Lowe fs LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,356 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. First National Bank Sioux Falls boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 8.7% in the second quarter. First National Bank Sioux Falls now owns 3,408 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $190,000 after buying an additional 272 shares during the last quarter. Fenimore Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the second quarter valued at $202,000. Finally, Independence Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the second quarter valued at $203,000. 63.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The Company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its wireless and wireline networks.

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