Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. Lowers Stock Position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Braun Bostich & Associates Inc. decreased its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 5.7% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 8,836 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 532 shares during the quarter. Braun Bostich & Associates Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $468,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. State Street Corp raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.9% during the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 164,278,821 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $10,086,720,000 after acquiring an additional 1,424,504 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of 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 valued at $3,829,119,000 after purchasing an additional 2,548,889 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 51,341,129 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,152,345,000 after purchasing an additional 833,751 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth approximately $2,775,411,000. Finally, FMR LLC lifted 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 purchasing an additional 1,704,351 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.98% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have issued reports on VZ. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 1st. Cowen upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, April 27th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price objective on Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 6th. Finally, Raymond James boosted their target price on Verizon Communications from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, April 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.44.

NYSE:VZ traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $54.10. 19,890,395 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 15,030,494. The stock has a market capitalization of $223.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.21, a P/E/G ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $56.54 and a 200-day simple moving average of $58.10. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $48.84 and a 52 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 (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. The firm had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.37 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.20 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 13th were given a $0.615 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 51.14%.

Verizon Communications declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 6th that authorizes the company to buyback 100,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the cell phone carrier to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total transaction of $613,482.40. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 27,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,570,307.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Company 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; 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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