Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. lowered its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 5.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 8,836 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 532 shares during the period. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $468,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Fiera Capital Corp boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 40.7% during the 4th quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 6,916 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $424,000 after acquiring an additional 2,001 shares in the last quarter. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth approximately $12,636,000. Benjamin Edwards Inc. grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 7.2% during the fourth quarter. Benjamin Edwards Inc. now owns 3,480 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $214,000 after purchasing an additional 234 shares during the last quarter. Essex Private Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $955,000. Finally, NS Partners Ltd lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. NS Partners Ltd now owns 142,127 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $8,727,000 after buying an additional 14,127 shares during the last quarter. 65.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total transaction of $613,482.40. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,570,307.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.07% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. 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 company posted $1.20 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.
Verizon Communications declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 6th that permits the company to buyback 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the cell phone carrier to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 13th were paid a $0.615 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.14%.
VZ has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 1st. Citigroup lifted their price objective on Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, April 27th. ValuEngine cut Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, May 1st. Nomura Securities lowered their target price on Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, March 30th. Finally, SunTrust Banks upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.44.
Verizon Communications Company 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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