The company will announce its financial results for the last quarter of 2013 on Jan. 21. In the quarter ending Sept. 30, the company reported a 40% year-over-year increase in earnings per share and trailing 12-month (TTM) operating cash flow of more than $35 billion.
VZ is the second-biggest American telecom by market cap ($139 billion compared to AT&T (T) at over $184 billion), but analysts give it a higher one-year estimated upside stock price potential of 11.33% compared to AT&T at roughly an 8.6% upside.
But have analysts factored in VZ owning all of Verizon Wireless in the year ahead? Perhaps only partially. Friday's announcement by AT&T of a new program to lure T-Mobile (TMUS) customers probably means Verizon Wireless will need to compete by matching it.
I'm anticipating some upgrades by analysts after VZ reports its quarterly revenue and EPS on Jan. 21. Analysts are only anticipating, on average, a 3.3% increase in sales and revenue growth for the last quarter of 2013, and that might allow for an upside surprise by the company.
To be safe, if you don't own any VZ yet, start accumulating shares below $49 before the earnings release and then buy the rest after the company reports and analysts have had the opportunity to adjust their forward expectations based on VZ's guidance.
Who knows, down the road Verizon may spin off its less-promising operations, or an activist investor may motivate the company to find innovative ways to please shareholders the way Vodafone did. Verizon Communications is a good example of another company worth your concentration.
At the time of publication the author had positions in VOD, VZ and T.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.