Verizon Communications (VZ) Short Interest Up 26.7% in February

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 46,356,655 shares, a growth of 26.7% from the February 15th total of 36,591,989 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 21,037,714 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.2 days. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s stock are short sold.

In other news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 6,967 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.80, for a total value of $346,956.60. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 16,059 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $799,738.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

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Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of VZ. Green Square Capital LLC grew its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 26.3% during the fourth quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 189,644 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $10,038,000 after acquiring an additional 39,478 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.2% during the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 597,630 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $31,633,000 after acquiring an additional 29,495 shares during the last quarter. Certified Advisory Corp bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $702,000. Wagner Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $129,000. Finally, D.B. Root & Company LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $1,188,000. 64.00% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

VZ traded down $0.76 during trading on Friday, hitting $47.48. The company had a trading volume of 16,064,191 shares, compared to its average volume of 13,778,864. The stock has a market capitalization of $199,132.98, a PE ratio of 12.70, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.54, a current ratio of 0.91 and a quick ratio of 0.87. Verizon Communications has a 1-year low of $42.80 and a 1-year high of $54.77.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.88 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $33.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $33.20 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 23.88% and a return on equity of 48.97%. The company’s revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications will post 4.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, April 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.59 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.97%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 63.10%.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Bank of America lifted their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. HSBC lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $54.83 to $42.80 in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Vetr raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.80 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Howard Weil raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “sector perform” rating to a “sector outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, Guggenheim began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, March 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $58.00 price objective for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $54.24.

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Verizon Communications Company Profile

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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