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Verizon Furthers E-Learning for the Underprivileged Communities

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Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) revised its agreement with Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the country, to help more school districts in California enable distance learning. The original agreement, inked on Jul 1, 2019 and first amended on Mar 23, 2020, is aimed at providing free-of-cost Internet access to students whose families could not afford it.

Last month, the wireless carrier announced its support for the State of California’s mission to help bridge the digital divide by committing unlimited Internet connectivity to the state at a discounted rate for up to 250,000 underserved students. The gap exists in urban and rural communities where students do not have the Internet or devices to be connected with their school community.

Meanwhile, Verizon is building its 5G Ultra Wideband network to enable the 5G innovations that will support the changing behavior of consumers and businesses. It has achieved several 5G milestones including the creation of a virtual lab to accelerate the development of 5G solutions. This also includes 5G Ultra Wideband availability in San Diego, which marks Verizon’s 35th city to receive 5G mobility service, the rollout of 5G uploads in all existing 5G Ultra Wideband cities and four new 5G technology partners who will help extend millimeter-wave 5G coverage.

The company’s 5G mobility service offers an experience that impacts industries as diverse as public safety, health care, retail and sports. If customers move outside Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband coverage area, the 5G-enabled device transitions to a 4G LTE network. As Verizon continues to expand mobile and home coverage across the country, it will work with leading technology partners to advance the 5G ecosystem and bring 5G experiences to customers.

At the same time, Verizon is committed to its corporate purpose to usher in a new era of sustainable innovation and inclusive growth. The company believes that effective management of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations underpins its long-term success while delivering value to stakeholders.

Driven by investment in 5G and Fiber strategies, Verizon’s shares have gained 14.4% compared with 8.4% growth of the industry in the past two years.

The company topped earnings estimates thrice in the last four quarters and missed the same in the remaining quarter. It has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 1.2%, on average. The stock is currently trading with a forward P/E of 11.4X.

Verizon has a dividend yield of 4.5% compared with 4.7% of the industry. The company has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 3.1% compared with the industry’s 8.8%.

Verizon currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Turtle Beach Corporation (HEAR - Free Report) , Plantronics, Inc. and Ooma, Inc. (OOMA - Free Report) . While Turtle Beach sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Plantronics and Ooma carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Turtle Beach has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 46.4%, on average.

Plantronics has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 27.7%, on average. The company’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters.

Ooma has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 228.2%, on average.

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