Man Group plc Sells 742,338 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Man Group plc cut its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 52.5% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 672,332 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 742,338 shares during the quarter. Man Group plc’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $41,282,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Grandfield & Dodd LLC raised its holdings in Verizon Communications by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Grandfield & Dodd LLC now owns 6,934 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $426,000 after purchasing an additional 168 shares during the period. Rikoon Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Rikoon Group LLC now owns 31,603 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,940,000 after buying an additional 173 shares during the period. CFO4Life Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. CFO4Life Group LLC now owns 7,655 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $470,000 after buying an additional 173 shares during the period. Comprehensive Portfolio Management LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.1% during the fourth quarter. Comprehensive Portfolio Management LLC now owns 8,361 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $513,000 after acquiring an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NorthCoast Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.3% during the fourth quarter. NorthCoast Asset Management LLC now owns 7,717 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $474,000 after acquiring an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. 66.75% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

VZ has been the topic of several research reports. Cowen raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 2nd. Moffett Nathanson reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Thursday, January 30th. New Street Research restated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, January 10th. Raymond James upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $58.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, March 16th. Finally, Tigress Financial reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, January 23rd. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $63.10.

Shares of VZ opened at $49.94 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $206.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.74, a PEG ratio of 2.94 and a beta of 0.54. The company has a current ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $56.28 and its 200 day simple moving average is $59.19. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1-year low of $48.84 and a 1-year high of $62.22.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 30th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by ($0.02). Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.39% and a net margin of 14.61%. The company had revenue of $34.78 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.62 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.12 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.615 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.93%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 51.14%.

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

Further Reading: How to Invest in Marijuana Stocks

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

Receive News & Ratings for Verizon Communications Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Verizon Communications and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.