Analyst: Verizon Gets By With a ‘Buy’ and A-

Verizon Headquater

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) scored a ‘Buy’ affirmation from analysts Monday, following similarly optimistic stock notes issued earlier in the month. According to Ticker Report, analysts at TheStreet reaffirmed Verizon’s rating and wrote, “Verizon Communications has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A-. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.”

Following the analyst note, Verizon shares were gaining Monday, finishing at the close in New York up 0.89 percent at $50.76. Investors have been encouraged by the company’s recent stock rises after suffering losses earlier in September, and the analyst optimism follows one month after Verizon’s latest earning release on October 17.

The New York City-based company reported $0.77 EPS for the third-quarter, beating analysts’ expectations of $0.75 by $0.02. It also beat revenue estimates of $30.17 billion, and posted a $30.28 billion figure. According to Ticker Report, Verizon’s quarterly revenue is up 4.4 percent on a year-over-year basis, and analysts expect the company to post a $2.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Monday’s ‘buy’ rating reaffirmation also follows similar reports issued by other firms which share in the Verizon optimism. Ticker Report highlights analysts at Zacks reiterating a “neutral” rating on Verizon shares in a research note to investors last week, and that came after analysts at Cowen and Company raised their price target on shares from $49.00 to $50.00 following the company’s latest earnings report in October.

Cowen and Company now has a “market” perform rating on the stock, in comparison to Well Fargo analysts’ “outperform” outlook. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, 13 have assigned a hold rating, 18 have assigned a buy rating, and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus target price of $56.26. Investors have had a handful of Verizon reports to digest as of late, and a potential Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) link-up has effectively taken the forefront.

Rumors over an Intel TV service have swirled for months ever since former Intel CEO Erik Huggers promised that it would be available by the end of 2013, but the winds changed in late October when insider sources reported that the tech giant is in advanced talks with Verizon over a possible web-based subscription TV service matchup. Neither parties have confirmed the report, but considering Verizon already operates a pay-TV service and serves more than 5 million subscribers via its FiOS unit, it makes sense that the company would be interested in such an arrangement. Investors were also alerted of Director Hugh Price’s shares unload last week when he was reported to have sold 7,798 shares in a transaction dated November 11. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 58 shares in the company, valued at $2,894.

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