Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management CO. LTD. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 21.1% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 208,560 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 36,290 shares during the period. Verizon Communications comprises about 3.0% of Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management CO. LTD.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 6th largest holding. Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management CO. LTD.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $11,206,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the business. Blair William & Co. IL raised its position in Verizon Communications by 16.9% during the 1st quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 1,041,166 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $55,942,000 after purchasing an additional 150,498 shares in the last quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC raised its position in Verizon Communications by 18.2% during the 1st quarter. Sequoia Financial Advisors LLC now owns 53,529 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,876,000 after purchasing an additional 8,241 shares in the last quarter. MainStreet Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 21.9% in the 1st quarter. MainStreet Investment Advisors LLC now owns 177,338 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $9,528,000 after acquiring an additional 31,905 shares in the last quarter. Banco Santander S.A. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 98.6% in the 1st quarter. Banco Santander S.A. now owns 243,556 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $13,086,000 after acquiring an additional 120,895 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fiduciary Group LLC raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 7.4% in the 1st quarter. Fiduciary Group LLC now owns 169,054 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $9,083,000 after acquiring an additional 11,665 shares in the last quarter. 65.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total transaction of $613,482.40. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 27,501 shares in the company, valued at $1,570,307.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have recently commented on VZ shares. Nomura Securities reduced their price target on Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, March 30th. Raymond James boosted their price target on Verizon Communications from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, April 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price target on Verizon Communications from $63.00 to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, April 17th. Robert W. Baird reduced their target price on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $58.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 28th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, January 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.44.
Shares of VZ traded up $0.13 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $54.10. The company had a trading volume of 19,890,395 shares, 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 P/E ratio of 12.21, a PEG ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $56.54 and a two-hundred day moving average of $58.10.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. The firm had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.37 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.20 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.
Verizon Communications declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 6th that permits the company to buyback 100,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the cell phone carrier to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 13th were given a dividend of $0.615 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.14%.
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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