Blair William & Co. IL boosted its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 16.9% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,041,166 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 150,498 shares during the period. Blair William & Co. IL’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $55,942,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter worth about $2,775,411,000. Parnassus Investments CA bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter worth about $728,007,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 89.7% in the 4th quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 16,075,176 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $986,935,000 after acquiring an additional 7,601,512 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 21.5% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 20,570,713 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,263,042,000 after acquiring an additional 3,644,196 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 22.0% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 18,218,551 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $978,883,000 after acquiring an additional 3,290,700 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.98% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have commented on VZ shares. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, April 6th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, May 1st. Barclays restated a “hold” rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 17th. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, April 27th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $63.00 to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, April 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.44.
In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total value of $613,482.40. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,570,307.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE VZ traded up $0.13 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $54.10. 19,890,395 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 15,030,494. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $48.84 and a 52 week high of $62.22. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02. The stock has a market capitalization of $223.33 billion, a PE ratio of 12.21, a PEG ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $56.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.10.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $31.81 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.37 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.00% and a return on equity of 33.26%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.20 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 13th were paid a $0.615 dividend. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.55%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.14%.
Verizon Communications declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 6th that permits the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the cell phone carrier to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
Verizon Communications Profile
Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms.
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