USS Investment Management Ltd reduced its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 13.7% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 176,324 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 28,000 shares during the period. USS Investment Management Ltd’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $10,073,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.0% during the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 57,437,652 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,229,145,000 after purchasing an additional 2,195,292 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.0% in the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 18,386,024 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,033,662,000 after buying an additional 1,037,670 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 64.8% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 15,572,858 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $765,872,000 after buying an additional 6,120,966 shares during the period. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 8.6% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 9,016,053 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $533,119,000 after buying an additional 711,742 shares during the period. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.5% during the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 8,681,825 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $488,095,000 after purchasing an additional 129,558 shares during the period. 65.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Bank of America set a $64.00 price objective on Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 16th. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Finally, UBS Group lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $57.70 target price on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, May 30th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $59.87.
In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.15, for a total value of $78,444.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 25,379 shares in the company, valued at $1,475,788.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 4,047 shares of company stock valued at $234,591. Company insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE VZ traded up $0.33 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $55.59. 17,457,563 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 11,404,580. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $57.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $228.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.80, a P/E/G ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $51.76 and a one year high of $61.58.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.23 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 35.40% and a net margin of 12.20%. The company had revenue of $32.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.42 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.20 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 10th were given a dividend of $0.6025 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, July 9th. This represents a $2.41 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.34%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 51.17%.
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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