Madison Investment Holdings Inc. cut its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) by 5.8% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 404,696 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 24,930 shares during the period. Madison Investment Holdings Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $21,421,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 265,904,768 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $14,074,340,000 after purchasing an additional 2,236,290 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 14.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 48,749,993 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,580,337,000 after purchasing an additional 6,007,544 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.7% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 24,495,234 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,212,227,000 after purchasing an additional 636,014 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 6.2% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 21,390,896 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,132,221,000 after purchasing an additional 1,250,691 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.8% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 20,021,107 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $990,845,000 after purchasing an additional 346,725 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.10% of the company’s stock.
VZ has been the subject of a number of research reports. Scotiabank upgraded Verizon Communications from a “sector perform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Moffett Nathanson upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 28th. Vetr downgraded Verizon Communications from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.24 price target for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, February 27th. Nomura lifted their price target on Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price target on Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $54.75.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $31.77 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.25 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 42.62% and a net margin of 24.37%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.95 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications will post 4.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 10th were issued a dividend of $0.59 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, April 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.93%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 63.10%.
In other news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 1,974 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.44, for a total transaction of $97,594.56. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 16,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $794,006.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.
About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; multimedia, business-focused, and location-based services, as well as international travel services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.
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