Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. reduced its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1.3% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 746,324 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 9,486 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications accounts for approximately 0.9% of Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 21st biggest holding. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $36,936,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Capital Research Global Investors raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.1% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 153,408,016 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,851,202,000 after purchasing an additional 20,070,391 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.0% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 61,833,096 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,761,466,000 after purchasing an additional 8,077,275 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 282,894,542 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $12,634,070,000 after purchasing an additional 5,837,702 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 19.9% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 21,820,729 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $974,515,000 after purchasing an additional 3,623,182 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 52.6% during the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 9,014,846 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $402,604,000 after purchasing an additional 3,107,054 shares during the last quarter. 63.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
VZ has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Macquarie restated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Sunday, October 22nd. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Moffett Nathanson restated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, November 20th. Finally, Instinet upped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.98.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98. The company had revenue of $31.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.45 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.80% and a return on equity of 58.66%. Verizon Communications’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be issued a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 60.51%.
In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total transaction of $28,920.10. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares in the company, valued at approximately $154,983.29. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.13% of the stock is currently 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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