Sheets Smith Wealth Management cut its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 5.7% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 39,361 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 2,392 shares during the period. Sheets Smith Wealth Management’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $2,083,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the second quarter valued at $623,000. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 190.9% during the third quarter. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. now owns 2,705 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $134,000 after purchasing an additional 1,775 shares during the period. Legacy Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth $132,000. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth $156,000. Finally, Regal Wealth Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.7% during the second quarter. Regal Wealth Group Inc. now owns 3,682 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $164,000 after purchasing an additional 24 shares during the period. 64.10% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of analysts have weighed in on VZ shares. Wells Fargo & Co raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, November 20th. ValuEngine raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Nomura raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $47.00 to $61.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Instinet increased their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, HSBC cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $54.83 to $42.80 in a report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $53.45.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.88 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $33.96 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $33.20 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 48.97% and a net margin of 23.88%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.86 EPS. research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, April 10th will be given a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, April 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.82%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 72.62%.
In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 6,967 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.80, for a total value of $346,956.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 16,059 shares in the company, valued at approximately $799,738.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.
About Verizon Communications
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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