Aft Forsyth & Company Inc. trimmed its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 13.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 8,484 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 1,325 shares during the quarter. Aft Forsyth & Company Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $456,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Danda Trouve Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at $25,000. Lionsbridge Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at $32,000. HighMark Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at $33,000. AlphaCore Capital LLC purchased a new position in Verizon Communications in the 1st quarter valued at $35,000. Finally, Permanens Capital L.P. purchased a new position in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at $37,000. 65.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total transaction of $613,482.40. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,570,307.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.37 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. The business’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.20 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.
Verizon Communications announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 6th that authorizes the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the cell phone carrier to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th were given a dividend of $0.615 per share. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.55%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.14%.
A number of research firms recently weighed in on VZ. Oppenheimer began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, April 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $70.00 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, May 1st. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 1st. Citigroup lifted their price target on Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, April 27th. Finally, SunTrust Banks lifted their price target on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.44.
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; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms.
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