Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the target of some unusual options trading on Monday. Stock investors bought 489,385 call options on the company. This is an increase of 2,890% compared to the typical volume of 16,365 call options.

Verizon Communications (VZ) opened at $51.69 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a current ratio of 1.07. Verizon Communications has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $53.69. The stock has a market cap of $210,870.00, a P/E ratio of 13.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.80 and a beta of 0.57.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98. The firm had revenue of $31.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.45 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.80% and a return on equity of 58.66%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.01 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post 3.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.57%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 60.51%.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.62, for a total transaction of $29,658.20. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 5,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $291,185.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Whitnell & Co. lifted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 1.2% during the second quarter. Whitnell & Co. now owns 10,316 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $461,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. Caxton Associates LP purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the second quarter worth about $607,000. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.6% in the second quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 1,673,761 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $74,961,000 after buying an additional 72,980 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.3% in the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 10,704,239 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $478,051,000 after buying an additional 136,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.2% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 1,018,021 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $45,465,000 after buying an additional 50,602 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.21% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. KeyCorp upped their price objective on Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “sector weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. HSBC cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $54.83 to $42.80 in a report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Instinet upped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Nomura raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $47.00 to $61.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $51.98.

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Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.

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