Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Short Interest Down 16.1% in December

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) saw a large decrease in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 33,222,973 shares, a decrease of 16.1% from the December 15th total of 39,588,331 shares. Currently, 0.8% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 11,096,880 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.0 days.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total transaction of $28,920.10. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $154,983.29. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 282,894,542 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $12,634,070,000 after acquiring an additional 5,837,702 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 15.1% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 153,408,016 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,851,202,000 after acquiring an additional 20,070,391 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 15.0% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 61,833,096 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,761,466,000 after acquiring an additional 8,077,275 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.7% during the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 24,495,234 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,212,227,000 after acquiring an additional 636,014 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 19.9% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 21,820,729 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $974,515,000 after acquiring an additional 3,623,182 shares in the last quarter. 63.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on VZ. HSBC cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $54.83 to $42.80 in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. 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. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Saturday, October 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.98.

Shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE VZ) opened at $51.66 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.02. Verizon Communications has a 12 month low of $42.80 and a 12 month high of $53.69. The company has a market cap of $210,740.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.25, a PEG ratio of 4.68 and a beta of 0.57.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.80% and a return on equity of 58.66%. The company had revenue of $31.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.45 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post 3.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.59 dividend. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 60.51%.

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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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