Investors Buy High Volume of Call Options on Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)


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Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders bought 291,647 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 962% compared to the average volume of 27,458 call options.

NYSE:VZ opened at $59.00 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66. Verizon Communications has a twelve month low of $52.85 and a twelve month high of $61.95. The stock has a market cap of $244.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.54 and a beta of 0.44. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $56.65 and its 200 day simple moving average is $58.04.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Monday, January 25th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.76% and a return on equity of 32.15%. The firm had revenue of $34.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.47 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.13 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 9th will be given a $0.6275 dividend. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.25%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 8th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 52.18%.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on VZ shares. Tigress Financial raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 30th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, March 3rd. Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $59.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 19th. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, March 11th. Finally, Scotiabank downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Thursday, February 25th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $62.06.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,555 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.53, for a total value of $91,014.15. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 36,242 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,121,244.26. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. AMI Asset Management Corp boosted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. AMI Asset Management Corp now owns 11,786 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $692,000 after acquiring an additional 181 shares in the last quarter. New Capital Management LP grew its position in Verizon Communications by 60.3% during the 4th quarter. New Capital Management LP now owns 481 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $28,000 after purchasing an additional 181 shares during the last quarter. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Aevitas Wealth Management Inc. now owns 17,502 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,028,000 after acquiring an additional 184 shares during the period. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management now owns 27,770 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,631,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares during the period. Finally, Teamwork Financial Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Teamwork Financial Advisors LLC now owns 21,191 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,245,000 after purchasing an additional 191 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.85% of the company’s stock.

About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc offers communications, technology, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides postpaid and prepaid service plans; internet access on notebook computers and tablets; wireless equipment, including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled internet devices, such as tablets, and other wireless-enabled connected devices, such as smart watches.

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