Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $55.14 and last traded at $55.05, with a volume of 879354 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $54.23.

Several brokerages have commented on VZ. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $58.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 30th. Scotiabank set a $61.00 target price on Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 25th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $51.00 to $56.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Finally, William Blair reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.42.

The company has a market capitalization of $216.59 billion, a PE ratio of 14.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.70. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.04.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $32.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.78 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 38.62% and a net margin of 23.88%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.96 EPS. analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.65 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 10th were paid a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, July 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.31%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 63.10%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Earnest Partners LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth $103,000. Catalyst Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the 2nd quarter worth $103,000. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth $111,000. Wagner Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $129,000. Finally, Avestar Capital LLC bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $131,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.12% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Company Profile (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; multimedia, business-focused, and location-based services, as well as international travel services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.

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