Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) announced the election of Dr. Karl-Ludwig Kley, chairman of the executive board and chief executive officer of Merck KGaA, to the Verizon Board of Directors, effective November 5.

“Karl is an accomplished executive who brings to Verizon significant leadership experience as CEO of an innovative, global operation that is navigating a highly competitive, complex and rapidly changing ecosystem. He has extensive expertise in corporate finance and critical capabilities in strategy and operations,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and chief executive officer. “We are very pleased to have Karl join our board.”

The addition of Kley brings Verizon’s total board membership to 13.

Kley has been chief executive officer and chairman of the executive board of Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany since 2007. Prior to this, he was appointed vice chairman of the executive board in September 2006. Before joining Merck KGaA, Kley was a member of the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG from 1998 to 2006, where he served as chief financial officer. From 1982 to 1998, Kley worked for Bayer AG in a variety of positions, including as head of corporate finance and investor relations. (Original Source)

Shares of Verizon Communications opened today at $46.2 and are currently trading up at $46.325. VZ has a 1-year high of $51.73 and a 1-year low of $38.06. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $44.62 and its 200-day moving average is $46.22.

On the ratings front, Verizon Communications has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 21, Citigroup analyst Michael Rollins maintained a Hold rating on VZ, with a price target of $49, which represents a potential upside of 6.1% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Cowen’s Colby Synesael reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $48.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Michael Rollins and Colby Synesael have a total average return of 5.8% and 11.7% respectively. Rollins has a success rate of 59.3% and is ranked #989 out of 3824 analysts, while Synesael has a success rate of 61.2% and is ranked #542.

The street is mostly Bullish on VZ stock. Out of 9 analysts who cover the stock, 6 suggest a Buy rating and 3 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $50.83, which implies an upside of 10.0% from current levels.