Sowell Financial Services LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 2.5% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 246,261 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,042 shares during the quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $14,468,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of VZ. Baron Financial Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth approximately $35,000. Avion Wealth boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 191.4% in the 3rd quarter. Avion Wealth now owns 609 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the period. Kathmere Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Verizon Communications in the 3rd quarter valued at $46,000. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 53.4% during the 3rd quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 1,224 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $73,000 after buying an additional 426 shares during the period. Finally, Grace Capital acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the third quarter valued at about $78,000. 64.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several research analysts have recently commented on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $61.00 to $65.00 in a report on Thursday, November 5th. Moffett Nathanson raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $59.00 to $66.00 in a report on Wednesday, December 2nd. Oppenheimer initiated coverage on Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, September 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $70.00 target price on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 30th. Finally, Tigress Financial reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, November 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $62.00.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 32.15% and a net margin of 14.76%. The business had revenue of $31.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.60 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.25 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 8th will be paid a $0.6275 dividend. 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 presently 52.18%.
In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 10,411 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.73, for a total transaction of $601,027.03. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 23,771 shares in the company, valued at $1,372,299.83. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.
Verizon Communications Company 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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