Bank of America Upgrades Verizon (VZ) to

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bank of America has upgraded Verizon (VZ) to "buy" from "hold" with a $55 price target. The firm said the ratings revision was a valuation call. 

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TheStreet Ratings team rates VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC (VZ) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • VZ's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.49%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.31% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 55.03% to $10,431.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -2.22%.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.

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