Frontier Communications (FTR) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has $8.25 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Frontier Communications is expanding broadband services in rural areas, with the help of FCC CAF-II funding. The company’s focus to rake in more profits through customer retention, market share gain, new product introductions, broadband expansion and improved sales and marketing initiatives, looks good. The company is working on its growing Business Service Segment. Foraying into North Carolina with the rollout of ‘Vantage TV’ IPTV and broadband services also bode well. Over the past three months, the stock price declined 40.8% as against the industry’s loss of 23.6%. Persistent decline in access lines, loss of legacy fixed telephony business to wireless, decline in wireless backhaul revenues and declining subscriber statistics, continue to bother the company’s growth prospects. Frontier’s FiOS customers in the Seattle area lost access to Cox Media Group’s KIRO-TV programming.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub downgraded Frontier Communications from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, September 16th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a sector perform rating and issued a $8.00 price objective (down previously from $16.00) on shares of Frontier Communications in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Gabelli downgraded Frontier Communications from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. UBS Group lowered their price objective on Frontier Communications from $15.00 to $13.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Bank of America downgraded shares of Frontier Communications from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $4.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $9.77.

Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) traded up $0.58 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $8.30. The stock had a trading volume of 2,639,479 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,440,000. Frontier Communications has a one year low of $6.08 and a one year high of $53.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.16, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $651.20, a P/E ratio of -0.60 and a beta of 0.52.

Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported ($0.94) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.95) by $0.01. Frontier Communications had a negative return on equity of 1.97% and a negative net margin of 9.17%. The company had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.64) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 10.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Frontier Communications will post -4.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 28.92%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. Frontier Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently -17.45%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FTR. Shelton Capital Management bought a new position in shares of Frontier Communications during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $111,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new position in shares of Frontier Communications during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $113,000. Quantbot Technologies LP bought a new position in shares of Frontier Communications during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $124,000. MML Investors Services LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Frontier Communications by 204.3% during the 2nd quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 118,366 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 79,473 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP bought a new position in shares of Frontier Communications during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $138,000. 62.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Frontier Communications Company Profile

Frontier Communications Corporation (Frontier) is a provider of communications services in the United States. The Company offers a portfolio of communications services for residential and business customers. Its products and services include data and Internet services, video services, voice services, access services and customer premise equipment (CPE).

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