AllSquare Wealth Management LLC Sells 757 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

AllSquare Wealth Management LLC cut its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 5.0% in the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 14,330 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 757 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up about 0.7% of AllSquare Wealth Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest position. AllSquare Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $770,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Avestar Capital LLC grew its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 54.6% in the first quarter. Avestar Capital LLC now owns 13,215 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $710,000 after buying an additional 4,669 shares in the last quarter. Solstein Capital LLC boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 83.2% during the first quarter. Solstein Capital LLC now owns 1,759 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $95,000 after purchasing an additional 799 shares during the period. SVA Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.5% in the first quarter. SVA Wealth Management LLC now owns 50,788 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,729,000 after purchasing an additional 764 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 14.9% in the first quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 23,636,341 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,269,981,000 after purchasing an additional 3,065,628 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Game Creek Capital LP bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the first quarter valued at about $4,449,000. 65.36% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total value of $613,482.40. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,501 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,570,307.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have weighed in on VZ. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, April 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their target price on Verizon Communications from $63.00 to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, April 17th. Cowen upgraded Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, March 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group raised Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 1st. Finally, Moffett Nathanson reissued a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, January 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.44.

Shares of NYSE VZ traded up $0.60 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $54.90. 12,477,683 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 14,457,307. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $56.51 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $57.98. The company has a market cap of $223.87 billion, a PE ratio of 12.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 0.99. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1-year low of $48.84 and a 1-year high of $62.22.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. The firm had revenue of $31.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.37 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.20 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Verizon Communications declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 6th that authorizes the company to buyback 100,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the cell phone carrier to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th were paid a $0.615 dividend. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.48%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 51.14%.

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

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