First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1.7% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 381,156 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,357 shares during the period. Verizon Communications accounts for 3.6% of First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 11th biggest holding. First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $18,227,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Exane Derivatives bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $103,000. Earnest Partners LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $103,000. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $111,000. Wagner Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $129,000. Finally, Avestar Capital LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $131,000. Institutional investors own 63.71% of the company’s stock.
A number of brokerages recently weighed in on VZ. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $51.00 to $56.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Deutsche Bank raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 19th. Jefferies Financial Group began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Thursday, June 7th. They set a “hold” rating and a $52.00 target price for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $58.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, May 11th. Finally, William Blair reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $54.62.
In other news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 1,974 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.44, for a total transaction of $97,594.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 16,060 shares in the company, valued at $794,006.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.09% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Shares of NYSE VZ opened at $49.30 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $205.41 billion, a PE ratio of 13.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 0.63. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1 year low of $42.80 and a 1 year high of $54.77. The company has a quick ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.15.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.11 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $31.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.25 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 24.37% and a return on equity of 42.62%. The business’s revenue was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.95 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 63.10%.
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; multimedia, business-focused, and location-based services, as well as international travel services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.
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