Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) Lowered to Neutral at Citigroup

Citigroup downgraded shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note released on Monday, Benzinga reports. Citigroup currently has $62.00 price target on the cell phone carrier’s stock.

Several other analysts have also commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of G1 Therapeutics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, May 16th. Bank of America set a $64.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. UBS Group upgraded shares of Loma Negra Compania Indl Argentina from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, May 30th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $44.00 price target on shares of Steel Dynamics and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a €18.50 ($21.51) price target on shares of ENI and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $59.30.

VZ stock opened at $56.92 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $235.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.02, a PEG ratio of 2.83 and a beta of 0.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $57.49. Verizon Communications has a one year low of $50.05 and a one year high of $61.58.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $32.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.13 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.20% and a return on equity of 35.40%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.17 earnings per share. Research analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post 4.75 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 10th will be given a $0.6025 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, July 9th. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.23%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 51.17%.

In other news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 6,134 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.11, for a total value of $350,312.74. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 20,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,142,200. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.06, for a total transaction of $75,624.94. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 28,077 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,573,996.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 10,181 shares of company stock worth $584,243. Company insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Centaurus Financial Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 18.2% in the first quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 1,476 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 227 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 120.0% in the fourth quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 880 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $49,000 after buying an additional 480 shares in the last quarter. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 506.0% in the fourth quarter. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,018 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $57,000 after buying an additional 850 shares in the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of 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 buying an additional 183 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Contravisory Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 85.4% in the second quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,053 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $60,000 after buying an additional 485 shares in the last quarter. 65.51% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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