Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) reached a new 52-week low during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The company traded as low as $48.84 and last traded at $49.59, with a volume of 7961174 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $49.99.

VZ has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 21st. Raymond James upgraded Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $58.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, March 16th. Cowen upgraded Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, March 2nd. Tigress Financial reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, January 23rd. Finally, Nomura reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, February 3rd. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $63.10.

The stock has a market cap of $206.75 billion, a PE ratio of 11.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.94 and a beta of 0.54. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $56.28 and a 200 day moving average of $59.19. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 30th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.15 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $34.78 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.62 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.61% and a return on equity of 33.39%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.12 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.615 per share. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.14%.

Verizon Communications announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 6th that permits the company to repurchase 100,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the cell phone carrier to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of VZ. Danda Trouve Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter worth approximately $25,000. Lionsbridge Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth approximately $32,000. HighMark Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth approximately $33,000. Permanens Capital L.P. purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth approximately $37,000. Finally, Cedar Mountain Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth approximately $45,000. Institutional investors own 66.75% of the company’s stock.

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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