Verizon Communications (VZ) Shares Gap Down Following Insider Selling

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) gapped down prior to trading on Friday following insider selling activity. The stock had previously closed at $58.57, but opened at $56.83. Verizon Communications shares last traded at $54.35, with a volume of 26756044 shares traded.

Specifically, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.06, for a total value of $75,624.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 28,077 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,573,996.62. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 6,134 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.11, for a total value of $350,312.74. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 20,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,142,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 11,530 shares of company stock valued at $664,198. 0.03% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several research analysts have issued reports on VZ shares. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Bank of America set a $64.00 price objective on Verizon Communications and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $57.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 6th. Finally, UBS Group lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $57.70 price objective for the company. in a research note on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.76.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. The company has a market capitalization of $240.16 billion, a PE ratio of 11.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.89 and a beta of 0.48.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 35.40% and a net margin of 12.20%. The company had revenue of $32.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.13 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.17 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Buffington Mohr McNeal increased its position in Verizon Communications by 1.3% in the first quarter. Buffington Mohr McNeal now owns 13,588 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $803,000 after purchasing an additional 176 shares during the period. Boltwood Capital Management increased its position in Verizon Communications by 0.9% in the first quarter. Boltwood Capital Management now owns 19,165 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,133,000 after purchasing an additional 177 shares during the period. S. R. Schill & Associates increased its position in Verizon Communications by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. S. R. Schill & Associates now owns 7,625 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $429,000 after purchasing an additional 178 shares during the period. Hengehold Capital Management LLC increased its position in Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Hengehold Capital Management LLC now owns 47,560 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,674,000 after purchasing an additional 179 shares during the period. Finally, Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 21.5% in the fourth quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,033 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $58,000 after purchasing an additional 183 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 65.72% of the company’s stock.

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About Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms.

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