Instinet reiterated their neutral rating on shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) in a research report sent to investors on Sunday. The firm currently has a $46.00 price target on the cell phone carrier’s stock, down from their prior price target of $47.00.

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Citigroup Inc raised Verizon Communications from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their target price for the company from $52.25 to $53.38 in a research note on Tuesday, January 3rd. Vetr downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $52.38 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, January 2nd. Drexel Hamilton downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, January 6th. Needham & Company LLC reissued a hold rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and cut their target price for the stock from $56.95 to $54.00 in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-three have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $53.57.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) traded down 2.40% on Friday, reaching $47.25. 31,278,325 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $192.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.72 and a beta of 0.43. Verizon Communications has a 1-year low of $46.01 and a 1-year high of $56.95. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $49.24 and its 200 day moving average is $49.92.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 10.42% and a return on equity of 72.75%. The firm had revenue of $29.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.41 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.06 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Verizon Communications will post $3.80 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 10th will be paid a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.89%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 71.74%.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Roger Gurnani sold 10,804 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.29, for a total transaction of $543,333.16. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 63,734 shares in the company, valued at $3,205,182.86. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 32,254 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.92, for a total transaction of $1,610,119.68. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 28,159 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,405,697.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 56,163 shares of company stock worth $2,786,879. 0.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Peddock Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.6% in the third quarter. Peddock Capital Advisors LLC now owns 24,910 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,295,000 after buying an additional 144 shares during the last quarter. Charter Trust Co. raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.4% in the third quarter. Charter Trust Co. now owns 136,422 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $7,091,000 after buying an additional 1,821 shares during the last quarter. Webster Bank N. A. raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.2% in the third quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 89,362 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,645,000 after buying an additional 1,066 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Consultant Network Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the third quarter valued at about $1,260,000. Finally, Gateway Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the third quarter valued at about $433,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.38% of the company’s stock.

About Verizon Communications

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

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