Fosun International Ltd Reduces Holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Fosun International Ltd lowered its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 55.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 4,130 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 5,105 shares during the period. Fosun International Ltd’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $226,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Fiera Capital Corp lifted its stake in Verizon Communications by 40.7% in the 4th quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 6,916 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $424,000 after purchasing an additional 2,001 shares in the last quarter. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $12,636,000. Benjamin Edwards Inc. lifted its position 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 worth $214,000 after buying an additional 234 shares in the last quarter. Essex Private Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $955,000. Finally, NS Partners Ltd boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 11.0% during 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. Institutional investors own 65.98% of the company’s stock.

In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total value of $613,482.40. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 27,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,570,307.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.07% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several research firms have recently commented on VZ. Cowen upgraded Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, March 2nd. Barclays reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $54.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 17th. Moffett Nathanson reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, January 30th. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $60.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, April 17th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 6th. 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 issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.44.

VZ traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $54.10. 19,890,395 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 15,030,494. The firm has a market cap of $223.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12-month low of $48.84 and a 12-month high of $62.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $56.54 and a 200 day moving average of $58.10.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.20 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Verizon Communications announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 6th that permits the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the cell phone carrier to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th were paid a dividend of $0.615 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 51.14%.

About Verizon Communications

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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