State of Wisconsin Investment Board cut its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 3.7% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 4,993,224 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 193,244 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up approximately 0.7% of State of Wisconsin Investment Board’s holdings, making the stock its 24th largest holding. State of Wisconsin Investment Board owned about 0.12% of Verizon Communications worth $238,776,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Exane Derivatives acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Earnest Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $111,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the first quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Finally, Wagner Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $129,000. 63.72% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 1,974 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.44, for a total value of $97,594.56. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 16,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $794,006.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.09% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Shares of Verizon Communications opened at $51.48 on Friday, according to MarketBeat. The firm has a market capitalization of $211.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.76, a P/E/G ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.65. Verizon Communications Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $42.80 and a fifty-two week high of $54.77. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.15.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $31.77 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.25 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 24.37% and a return on equity of 42.62%. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.95 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 10th will be issued a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.58%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 63.10%.
Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 30th. Vetr lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.49 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, April 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $51.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 21st. William Blair reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group assumed coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, June 7th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $52.00 price target on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $54.62.
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; 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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