Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the target of a large decline in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 30,669,988 shares, a decline of 18.4% from the January 15th total of 37,595,889 shares. Currently, 0.7% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 20,429,382 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.5 days.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. Tirschwell & Loewy Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 19.2% during the 2nd quarter. Tirschwell & Loewy Inc. now owns 52,013 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,617,000 after buying an additional 8,375 shares in the last quarter. Smith Chas P & Associates PA Cpas lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Smith Chas P & Associates PA Cpas now owns 439,351 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $22,104,000 after buying an additional 9,684 shares in the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 3,830,182 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $192,698,000 after buying an additional 117,650 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners lifted its stake in Verizon Communications by 133.5% in the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 10,503,382 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $528,426,000 after purchasing an additional 6,005,801 shares in the last quarter. Finally, REDW Stanley Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 2nd quarter worth $206,000. Institutional investors own 66.14% of the company’s stock.
VZ has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $59.89 target price for the company. in a research report on Sunday, December 9th. ValuEngine raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 15th. Barclays boosted their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $58.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, December 12th. Finally, Tigress Financial reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, December 28th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.90.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 29th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.09 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 11.87% and a return on equity of 35.96%. The firm had revenue of $34.28 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Verizon Communications will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, January 10th were paid a dividend of $0.6025 per share. This represents a $2.41 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.42%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 51.17%.
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About Verizon Communications
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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