Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Now Lets Businesses Pay For Your Mobile Data Usage With FreeBee Data 360

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Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has just introduced what they call their FreeBee Data 360 program, which might bring more free internet to more customers’ mobile devices. There is a catch though….. Someone has to pay for it. In the case of FreeBee Data 360, that someone is a company or app maker that wants you to have access to their content.

For example, app developers can now sponsor your internet usage to allow you to use their apps, and advertisers can sponsor their video content to allow you to view their videos. Sponsors will have the opportunity to pay for all of or part of app data usage, website access, video viewing, etc. Currently FreeBee Data 360 is in a “testing” phase, as Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) will evaluate whether or not the model works and if it is well accepted by both data users and businesses alike

Verizon also has plans for a “pay per click” type offering that will allow services to push downloads of its app or views of videos to mobile devices. This offering is a little further off from going live, as the company is testing it with about 1000 subscribers starting on January 25th.

The stock is up 1.13% or $0.5 following the news, hitting $44.93 per share. About 10.81 million shares traded hands. VZ has declined 5.97% since June 12, 2015 and is downtrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 2.90%.

From a total of 11 analysts covering Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) stock, 5 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 5 a “Hold”. This means that 45% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $54 while the lowest target price is $44. The mean of all analyst targets is $50.06 which is 11.42% above today’s ($44.93) stock price. Verizon Communications Inc. was the topic of 15 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Citigroup maintained shares on October 21 with a “Neutral” rating. Zacks upgraded shares to a”Hold” rating and a $53 target share price in their report from an August 14. Argus Research maintained VZ stock in a recent report from October 21 with a “Buy” rating. Vetr downgraded the rating on August 11. Vetr has a “Buy” rating and a $48.62 price target on shares. Finally, Nomura initiated the stock with a “Neutral” rating in a report they issued on an October 16.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.19 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.05, from 1.14 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 68 funds sold all their Verizon Communications Inc. shares they owned while 651 reduced their positions. 89 funds bought stakes while 770 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 2.31 billion shares which is 8.50% less than the previous share count of 2.52 billion in 2015Q2.

American Investment Services Inc. holds 10.12% of its total portfolio in Verizon Communications Inc., equating to 417,677 shares. Quaker Capital Investments Llc owns 376,438 shares representing 9.71% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Rathbone Brothers Plc has 9.02% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 3.11 million shares. The Alabama-based 10 has a total of 8.8% of their portfolio invested in the stock. King Investment Advisors Inc Tx, a Texas-based fund reported 28,870 shares owned.

Since May 1, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 1 insider sale for a total of $380,674 in net activity. Walden Marni M sold 8,229 shares worth $380,674. Skiadas Anthony T sold 2,708 shares worth $137,404. Mead Daniel S. sold 24,945 shares worth $1.26 million.

Verizon Communications Inc. is a holding firm that, acting through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment services and products to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The company has a market cap of $180.78 billion. The Company’s divisions include Wireless and Wireline. It has 17.88 P/E ratio. The Wireless segment includes the Cellco Partnership doing business as Verizon Wireless.

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