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"Verizon lagged the market in 1Q12, delivering -4.7% stock price return and a -3.47% total return (compares to S&P total return of 12.59% and AT&T total return of 4.80%)," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in an April 20 report. "Verizon now trades at an 18% premium to the market on consensus 2012 EPS. The multiple is probably justified given higher earnings growth and an 5% dividend yield; however, it leaves little room for multiple expansion. With estimates that are largely in-line with consensus, we are staying Neutral for now."
Shares of Verizon hit a 52-week high Tuesday of $40.84. The stock's 52-week low of $32.28 was set on Aug. 9.
Verizon trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 14.63; the average for fixed-line telecommunications companies is 24.52. For comparison,
AT&T(T) has a lower forward P/E of 13.
Twenty-one of the 38 analysts who cover Verizon rated it hold. Sixteen analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell.
The stock has risen 1.67% year to date.