Saratoga Research & Investment Management purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor purchased 5,831 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock, valued at approximately $289,000.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the business. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.8% in the third quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 88,819 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,396,000 after buying an additional 4,880 shares during the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.7% in the third quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 679,088 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $33,608,000 after buying an additional 11,661 shares during the last quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the third quarter valued at approximately $233,000. Mizuho Securities USA LLC acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the third quarter valued at approximately $758,000. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 7.0% in the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 2,009,405 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $99,445,000 after buying an additional 131,845 shares during the last quarter. 63.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several equities analysts recently commented on the stock. Moffett Nathanson reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Cowen reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. HSBC lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $54.83 to $42.80 in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.99.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.98. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.80% and a return on equity of 58.66%. The company had revenue of $31.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.45 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.01 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a $0.59 dividend. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.42%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 60.51%.
In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total value of $28,920.10. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $154,983.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.13% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
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Verizon Communications Company Profile
Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.
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