Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) Given New $68.00 Price Target at SunTrust Banks

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) had its price target boosted by SunTrust Banks from $61.00 to $68.00 in a research report report published on Wednesday morning, The Fly reports. They currently have a buy rating on the cell phone carrier’s stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Verizon Communications’ Q3 2019 earnings at $1.21 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $4.81 EPS.

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Oppenheimer upgraded Verizon Communications from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 27th. ValuEngine lowered Verizon Communications from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, October 4th. Nomura set a $65.00 target price on Verizon Communications and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 18th. Citigroup set a $62.00 price objective on Verizon Communications and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Verizon Communications from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $62.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, September 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $61.81.

Shares of Verizon Communications stock traded up $0.65 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $59.87. 2,667,237 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,031,479. The firm has a market capitalization of $249.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.71, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.00 and a beta of 0.53. Verizon Communications has a 1-year low of $52.28 and a 1-year high of $61.58. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $59.00 and its 200 day moving average price is $57.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12, a current ratio of 0.87 and a quick ratio of 0.84.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $32.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.42 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 34.91% and a net margin of 12.08%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.20 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post 4.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, October 10th will be given a $0.615 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 9th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.11%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 51.17%.

In other Verizon Communications news, CEO Tami A. Erwin sold 17,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.75, for a total value of $981,750.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 853 shares in the company, valued at approximately $49,260.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.01, for a total value of $75,557.49. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 22,681 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,270,362.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 21,047 shares of company stock valued at $1,214,722 over the last quarter. 0.03% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 19.2% in the 2nd quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 4,281,706 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $244,614,000 after buying an additional 688,375 shares in the last quarter. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.0% during the 2nd quarter. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. now owns 252,220 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $14,409,000 after purchasing an additional 14,296 shares in the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 2,057,475 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $117,566,000 after purchasing an additional 122,790 shares in the last quarter. Foundry Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 10.1% during the 2nd quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 481,450 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $27,505,000 after purchasing an additional 44,265 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Eqis Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.7% during the 2nd quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 35,258 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,014,000 after purchasing an additional 2,213 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.42% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

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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