Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of TELUS Co. (NYSE:TU) (TSE:T) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “TELUS continues to benefit from increased penetration of smartphones, higher average revenue per unit, accelerating wireless data services and an increasing number of wireline fiber optic networks. The company has also consolidated its foothold in the IoT market  through the TELUS Global IoT Connectivity platform and is focusing on its PureFibre network business. However, TELUS faces fierce competition in both the wireless and wireline segments. At the wireless segment, it competes against Rogers Communications and Bell Canada and also faces threat from small regional carriers. Cable TV operators such as Shaw Communications poses threat on the wireline side. Meanwhile, over the past three months, shares of TELUS grew 0.50% but failed to beat the Zacks categorized 'Diversified Communication Services' industry’s gain of 5.25%. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Barclays PLC restated an overweight rating and set a $38.00 target price (up from $36.00) on shares of TELUS in a report on Thursday, February 16th. National Bank Financial upgraded TELUS from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, February 7th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a buy rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of TELUS in a report on Monday, February 6th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $40.33.

Shares of TELUS (NYSE:TU) traded down 0.65% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $31.96. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 229,076 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $32.75 and a 200-day moving average price of $32.39. The stock has a market cap of $18.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.93 and a beta of 0.89. TELUS has a 52-week low of $30.31 and a 52-week high of $34.12.

TELUS (NYSE:TU) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 9th. The company reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $3.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.22 billion. TELUS had a net margin of 9.58% and a return on equity of 19.03%. The company’s revenue was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.34 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that TELUS will post $2.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, March 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.3668 per share. This represents a $1.47 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 8th. TELUS’s dividend payout ratio is presently 91.67%.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of TELUS during the fourth quarter valued at $42,854,000. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new stake in shares of TELUS during the fourth quarter valued at $201,000. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd boosted its stake in shares of TELUS by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd now owns 431,351 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,750,000 after buying an additional 4,033 shares in the last quarter. Numeric Investors LLC boosted its stake in shares of TELUS by 14.3% in the fourth quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 92,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,949,000 after buying an additional 11,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main bought a new stake in shares of TELUS during the fourth quarter valued at $36,439,000. Institutional investors own 54.15% of the company’s stock.

TELUS Company Profile

TELUS Corporation (TELUS) is a telecommunications company. The Company provides a range of telecommunications services and products, including wireless and wireline voice and data. Its data services include Internet protocol, television (TV), hosting, managed information technology and cloud-based services, and certain healthcare solutions.

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