Is Verizon’s Stock a Buy Now?

With Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) receiving a best-in-class reward and shares currently trading below 52-week highs, is the blue-chip member an OUTPERFORM, a WAIT AND SEE, or a STAY AWAY?

Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET Investing Framework:

C = Catalyst for the Stock’s Movement

Verizon Wireless, which is a joint venture between the parent company and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), is the nation’s largest 4G LTE network. On Thursday, it received another notable achievement. Among the four major U.S. wireless service providers, Verizon once again scored the highest in satisfaction, according to Consumer Reports’ annual satisfaction survey of 63,000 reader responses. Verizon was followed by Sprint (NYSE:S), Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and AT&T (NYSE:T).

The company grew its lead over Sprint by 6 points in the latest report, achieving high scores in categories like voice and data service quality, employee knowledge and resolution of issues. “Verizon stands out from the pack if you are a heavy-duty data user,” explained Mike Gikas, senior electronics editor at Consumer Reports. “They’re the Cadillac network. They’re pricey in some respects, but in terms of overall quality of service and availability of service, they are the overall leader.”

Although AT&T topped the rankings for the 4G LTE category, Verizon is still expanding its 4G LTE network. The company launched its 4G LTE service in its 400th market in October – Marquette, Michigan – as well as additional markets. With the expanded reach of new areas, almost 4 out of 5 people across the United States now have access to the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.

Earnings are looking solid…