Ariel Investments LLC Purchases 21,223 Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ)

Ariel Investments LLC grew its position in shares of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) by 2.7% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 802,066 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 21,223 shares during the period. Ariel Investments LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $42,453,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Mackenzie Financial Corp raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2,886.8% during the fourth quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 11,717,907 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $620,229,000 after acquiring an additional 11,325,589 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 1,252.0% during the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 7,986,475 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $422,724,000 after acquiring an additional 7,395,776 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 14.1% during 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 acquiring an additional 6,007,544 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 7,639.8% during the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 3,877,541 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $191,847,000 after acquiring an additional 3,827,442 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $182,955,000. 63.81% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Verizon Communications opened at $47.67 on Friday, Marketbeat.com reports. The company has a quick ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.15. Verizon Communications has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $54.77. The company has a market capitalization of $198.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.75, a PEG ratio of 1.93 and a beta of 0.62.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.06. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 42.62% and a net margin of 24.37%. The firm had revenue of $31.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.25 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.95 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Verizon Communications will post 4.57 EPS for the current year.

In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 1,974 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.44, for a total value of $97,594.56. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 16,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $794,006.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Vetr downgraded Verizon Communications from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.49 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, April 3rd. William Blair reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, April 25th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, March 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $58.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, May 11th. Finally, Guggenheim assumed coverage on Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, March 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $58.00 target price for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $54.75.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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