Telefonica Brasil (NYSE:VIV) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Telefonica Brasil (NYSE:VIV) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Sunday, January 21st. They currently have a $18.00 price objective on the Wireless communications provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.04% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Telefonica Brasil continues to rule the Brazilian wireless market following the establishment of Vivo as a commercial brand for all services. The company continues to invest in technology upgrades and broadband network infrastructure expansion to retain itself in the competitive industry. Moreover, the company is also optimistic about its long-term opportunities in the mobile business. In the last six months, the stock price grew 10.1% compared with the industry's loss of 1.7%. However, Telefonica Brasil continues to suffer from the impact of wireless substitution, intense competition in fixed line voice business and stringent regulatory measures. Telefonica Brasil's wireline business will suffer in future due to significant amount of line disconnections. Broadband competition will also continue to grow.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Barclays lifted their price objective on Telefonica Brasil from $16.00 to $17.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $15.60 price target on shares of Telefonica Brasil in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Santander lowered Telefonica Brasil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 21st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group downgraded Telefonica Brasil from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $16.53.

Telefonica Brasil (NYSE VIV) traded up $0.42 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $16.21. The stock had a trading volume of 616,206 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,284,828. The company has a quick ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. Telefonica Brasil has a 52-week low of $13.06 and a 52-week high of $17.33. The stock has a market capitalization of $26,664.48, a PE ratio of 20.20, a P/E/G ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 1.42.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VIV. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its position in Telefonica Brasil by 178.1% during the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 7,641 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $103,000 after purchasing an additional 4,893 shares during the period. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of Telefonica Brasil during the third quarter valued at approximately $165,000. River Road Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Telefonica Brasil during the third quarter valued at approximately $173,000. Creative Planning bought a new position in shares of Telefonica Brasil during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $178,000. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new position in shares of Telefonica Brasil during the third quarter valued at approximately $181,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 9.32% of the company’s stock.

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About Telefonica Brasil

Telefonica Brasil SA is a mobile telecommunications company in Brazil offering postpaid mobile services. The Company also operates as a fixed telecommunications company in the state of Sao Paulo. The Company markets its mobile services under its Vivo brand. It offers its clients a portfolio of products, including mobile and fixed voice, mobile data, fixed broadband, ultra-fast broadband, Pay television, information technology and digital services.

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