Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $56.00 price target on the cell phone carrier’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 13.11% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Verizon posted mixed fourth-quarter 2017 results with a massive gain of 1.174 million postpaid customers but lost 0.184 million prepaid customers. Verizon plans to launch 5G wireless residential broadband services in several U.S. markets in 2018. Verizon is planning to launch a theme-based online streaming TV service in 2018, backed by the digital streaming deal with the National Football League (NFL). Verizon is targeting the SMB segment with Fios Current TV video services. The company is boosting its fiber network assets with new buyouts. Verizon expects positive growth in 2018 on the back of the expected savings from tax reform. Over the past three months, the stock price grew 13.4% as against the industry’s gain of 6.1%. However, Verizon continues to struggle in a highly competitive and saturated wireless market. Losses in wireline access lines, marketing costs of promotional plans, competitive video market are other major risks.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Scotiabank upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “sector perform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Bank of America set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Instinet increased their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Nomura upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $47.00 to $61.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.51.

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) opened at $49.51 on Tuesday. Verizon Communications has a 12-month low of $42.80 and a 12-month high of $54.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.54, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 0.91. The firm has a market cap of $201,970.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.19, a PEG ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 0.58.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by ($0.02). Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 48.97% and a net margin of 23.88%. The firm had revenue of $33.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $33.20 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post 4.54 EPS for the current year.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total value of $28,920.10. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $154,983.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter valued at about $623,000. Earnest Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $103,000. Exane Derivatives bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $103,000. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $111,000. Finally, IFG Advisory LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,055,000. 63.31% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

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