Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) saw a significant increase in short interest during the month of June. As of June 29th, there was short interest totalling 36,172,920 shares, an increase of 10.8% from the June 15th total of 32,652,914 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 19,490,393 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.9 days. Approximately 0.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.

In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 1,974 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.44, for a total transaction of $97,594.56. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 16,060 shares in the company, valued at $794,006.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 125.4% during the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 721,315 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $38,175,000 after purchasing an additional 401,277 shares during the last quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 21.3% during the fourth quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 730,578 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $38,670,000 after acquiring an additional 128,182 shares in the last quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth approximately $462,000. Personal Capital Advisors Corp raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.6% during the fourth quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 650,427 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $34,427,000 after acquiring an additional 40,063 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 21.8% during the fourth quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 42,532 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,251,000 after acquiring an additional 7,624 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.72% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on VZ shares. HSBC upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Vetr upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $53.82 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 20th. Barclays upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $56.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, April 23rd. UBS Group upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nineteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $54.79.

Verizon Communications opened at $51.43 on Wednesday, Marketbeat reports. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.15, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.94. Verizon Communications has a 12 month low of $43.20 and a 12 month high of $54.77. The company has a market capitalization of $212.22 billion, a PE ratio of 13.76, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.65.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.11 by $0.06. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 24.37% and a return on equity of 42.62%. The company had revenue of $31.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.25 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.95 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post 4.58 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 10th will be given a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.59%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 63.10%.

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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