Can Verizon Break Out?

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With shares of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) trading around $48, is VZ an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Verizon is a provider of communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies. It operates in two primary segments: Verizon Communications and Wireline. Verizon Communications’ products and services include wireless voice, data services, and equipment sales, which are provided to consumer, business, and government customers across the United States. Wireline’s products and services include voice, Internet access, broadband video and data, Internet protocol network services, network access, long distance, and other services.

The wireless industry is continuing to shrink, as Cincinnati Bell (NYSE:CBB) announced Tuesday that it has sold all of its wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $210 million. As industry watchers continue to worry about what a merger between Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) would mean for consumers, small carriers outside the nation’s big four are floundering against the competition. “This transaction is an important step toward increasing focus on our growing strategic product base,” said Cincinnati Bell CEO Ted Torbeck in a press release. “It has become economically challenging for us to invest in our wireless business at the levels necessary to deliver best-in-class service to our customers. This transaction not only ensures that our customers have access to top-tier wireless service, but it also gives us increased flexibility to meet their growing demand for our Fioptics suite of products.”

Torbeck continued that, “We appreciate the loyal support from our Cincinnati Bell Wireless customers over the last sixteen years, and we remain committed to providing them with wireless service and support throughout the transition period.” Verizon Communications recently purchased the 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless that was owned by the British carrier Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), giving it total control of the nation’s largest wireless carrier. Verizon’s most recent financial results showed that the company has resisted bleeding subscribers to T-Mobile and its innovative “un-carrier” approach. Verizon will report second-quarter earnings on April 24.

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