NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) are down 0.42% to $45.34 in pre-market trading after Goldman Sachs analysts downgraded the company to "neutral" from "buy" and lowered its price target to $48 from $55.
"Our downgrade reflects higher costs of spectrum, higher churn and lower margins due to intensifying wireless competition and lower target multiples to reflect an uncertain outlook as the competitive landscape shifts," Goldman said.
"We lower our 4Q14E EPS to 71 cents from 77 cents (consensus 76 cents) and our 2015E EPS to $3.67 from $3.81 (consensus $3.74)," they noted.
Goldman continues to view Verizon as the best-in-class wireless carrier, largely on its strong network reputation and large base of high-value customers.
However, growing wireless competition, primarily in the form of promotional activity at both Sprint Corp. (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) , appears to be having a greater-than-anticipated impact on subscriber trends and financial results, in their view.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC (VZ) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, 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, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins 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."