Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is scheduled to release its most recent quarterly results before the markets open on Thursday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters are calling for $0.98 in earnings per share (EPS) and $31.45 billion in revenue. Last year’s third-quarter reportedly had EPS of $1.01 and $30.94 billion in revenue.
It came to light in September that security researchers had discovered another data exposure at Verizon. Researchers at Kromtech Security Research center found the exposure in an unprotected Amazon S3 storage server controlled by a Verizon Wireless customer. This marks the third known exposure of data within the past two years.
According to the report, there were confidential and sensitive documents on the server, which are said to include server logs and several instances of credentials for internal systems. However the employee who ran the server claimed to ZDNet that the files were “not confidential,” and that Verizon was aware of this server’s existence. The server is no longer accessible.
While it was reported that there was no customer data involved, the information still could be useful for hackers for a better understanding of the layout of the company’s systems.
Verizon’s quarterly dividend was raised by $0.0125 (a 2.2% hike) to $0.59 in early September. That will generate an annual payout of $2.36 per share. Although this puts Verizon’s dividend yield at roughly 4.9%, this could be seen as a disappointment.
So far this year, Verizon has underperformed the U.S. broad markets, with the stock down about 9%. Excluding IBM’s massive move, Verizon is the third worst-performing Dow stock in 2017. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is down about 4%.
A few analysts weighed in on Verizon ahead of the earnings report:
- KeyCorp has a Hold rating.
- Robert Baird has a Hold rating with a $49 price target.
- Cowen has a Hold rating and a $52 price target.
- RBC has a Sector Perform rating with a $50 price target.
- Barclays has an Equal Weight rating with a $47 target.
Shares of Verizon were last seen at $48.28, with a consensus analyst price target of $49.68 and a 52-week range of $42.80 to $54.83.