Shell Asset Management Co. Reduces Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Shell Asset Management Co. lowered its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 6.6% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 714,581 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 50,632 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up approximately 1.1% of Shell Asset Management Co.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 11th biggest position. Shell Asset Management Co.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $38,394,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. Danda Trouve Investment Management Inc. bought a new stake in Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Lionsbridge Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $32,000. HighMark Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $33,000. AlphaCore Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at approximately $35,000. Finally, Permanens Capital L.P. bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter worth approximately $37,000. Institutional investors own 65.98% of the company’s stock.

VZ has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, April 27th. Oppenheimer initiated coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, April 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $70.00 price objective for the company. Barclays reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, April 17th. Robert W. Baird decreased their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $58.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 28th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, April 27th. One investment 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’s stock. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.44.

NYSE VZ traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $54.10. 19,890,395 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 15,030,494. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $48.84 and a 52-week high of $62.22. The company has a market capitalization of $223.33 billion, a PE ratio of 12.21, a PEG ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.95. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $56.54 and its 200-day moving average is $58.10.

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, beating the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.00% and a return on equity of 33.26%. The company had revenue of $31.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.37 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.20 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th were paid a dividend of $0.615 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.14%.

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

In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the company’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 filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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; 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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