Cowen and Company reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Cowen and Company currently has a $49.00 price objective on the cell phone carrier’s stock.

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on VZ. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a buy rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Verizon Communications from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Moffett Nathanson upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Vetr upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $52.26 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 27th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a hold rating and issued a $48.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-five have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $53.23.

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE VZ) opened at 44.23 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $45.13 and its 200-day moving average is $47.92. The firm has a market cap of $180.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.79 and a beta of 0.54. Verizon Communications has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $56.25.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 9.92% and a return on equity of 66.99%. The company had revenue of $29.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.41 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.06 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th will be paid a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.22%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 77.00%.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.36, for a total value of $28,889.60. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 9,649 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $456,976.64. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 16,362 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.08, for a total value of $753,960.96. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,797 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $543,605.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 18,192 shares of company stock valued at $837,958. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Sunbelt Securities Inc. bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at $115,000. Franklin Parlapiano Turner & Welch LLC bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at $136,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 35.3% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 2,609 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 680 shares during the period. American Beacon Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at $140,000. Finally, Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 139.8% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 3,158 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 1,841 shares during the period. 62.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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