Dow Today: Verizon Communications (VZ) Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 44 points (+0.3%) at 12,881 as of Thursday, Mar 8, 2012, 10:40 a.m. ET. During this time, 152.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 818.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,846 issues advancing vs. 946 declining with 128 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which is sporting a 48-cent gain (+1.2%) bringing the stock to $39.35. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.63 points or roughly accounting for 8.3% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at 4.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.9 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $106.99 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are down 3.1% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 5.2%.

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. It operates in two segments, Verizon Wireless and Wireline. The company has a P/E ratio of 45.5, above the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio of 18.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.