Blair William & Co. IL Boosts Stock Holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Blair William & Co. IL lifted its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 16.9% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 1,041,166 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 150,498 shares during the quarter. Blair William & Co. IL’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $55,942,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of VZ. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 164,278,821 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $10,086,720,000 after purchasing an additional 1,424,504 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 4.3% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 62,486,079 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,829,119,000 after acquiring an additional 2,548,889 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 51,341,129 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,152,345,000 after acquiring an additional 833,751 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $2,775,411,000. Finally, FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.0% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 44,620,912 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,739,725,000 after buying an additional 1,704,351 shares in the last quarter. 65.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on VZ. Citigroup boosted their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, April 27th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, April 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $63.00 to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, April 17th. SunTrust Banks raised their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 28th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 1st. 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 given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.44.

In other news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 1st. The stock was 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 owns 27,501 shares in the company, valued at $1,570,307.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Verizon Communications stock traded up $0.13 during trading on Friday, hitting $54.10. The stock had a trading volume of 19,890,395 shares, compared to its average volume of 15,030,494. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.95. The firm has a market cap of $223.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.21, a PEG ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. The business has a fifty day moving average of $56.54 and a two-hundred day moving average of $58.10. Verizon Communications Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $48.84 and a fifty-two week high of $62.22.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $31.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.37 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. The company’s revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.20 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 13th were issued 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 (DPR) is 51.14%.

Verizon Communications declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 6th that allows the company to buyback 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the cell phone carrier to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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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