Verizon Communications Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (VZ)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) 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, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 6.40% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $9,314.00 million or 20.07% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 22.36%.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC has improved earnings per share by 12.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC reported lower earnings of $0.86 versus $0.90 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.48 versus $0.86).

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 45.3, equal to the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Verizon has a market cap of $130.36 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 14.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Verizon Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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