IFM Investors Pty Ltd boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 16.6% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 398,933 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 56,682 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications accounts for about 0.7% of IFM Investors Pty Ltd’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 19th biggest holding. IFM Investors Pty Ltd’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $23,437,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. M. Kraus & Co grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 3.7% during the fourth quarter. M. Kraus & Co now owns 78,816 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,630,000 after purchasing an additional 2,778 shares during the period. Norway Savings Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 9.6% in the fourth quarter. Norway Savings Bank now owns 39,292 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,308,000 after buying an additional 3,434 shares during the period. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.9% in the fourth quarter. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,124 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $419,000 after buying an additional 394 shares during the period. Ballew Advisors Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 8.4% in the fourth quarter. Ballew Advisors Inc now owns 3,817 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $219,000 after buying an additional 296 shares during the period. Finally, Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.4% in the fourth quarter. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 39,978 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,349,000 after buying an additional 5,339 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.85% of the company’s stock.
In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 10,411 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.73, for a total value of $601,027.03. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,771 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,372,299.83. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 21st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $31.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.60 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.76% and a return on equity of 32.15%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.25 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.6275 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 7th. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.40%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 52.18%.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Tigress Financial reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Sunday, November 1st. Wells Fargo & Company assumed coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, November 16th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $60.00 price target for the company. BidaskClub cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 30th. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, October 19th. They set a “peer perform” rating and a $62.00 target price for the company. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $61.00 to $65.00 in a report on Thursday, November 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $62.00.
Verizon Communications Profile
Verizon Communications Inc offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides postpaid and prepaid service plans; Internet access on notebook computers and tablets; wireless equipment, including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled Internet devices, such as tablets, laptop computers and netbooks, and other wireless-enabled connected devices, such as smart watches and other wearables.
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