Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ – Free Report) by 9.0% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 28,391,509 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,348,393 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. owned 0.68% of Verizon Communications worth $1,104,162,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 1st quarter valued at about $32,000. Kepos Capital LP bought a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth about $36,000. Steward Financial Group LLC raised its position in Verizon Communications by 92.9% in the 1st quarter. Steward Financial Group LLC now owns 957 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $37,000 after buying an additional 461 shares during the last quarter. Graham Capital Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the 1st quarter valued at about $407,956,000. Finally, Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 111.8% during the 4th quarter. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. now owns 1,057 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $42,000 after acquiring an additional 558 shares during the last quarter. 61.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. StockNews.com lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Oppenheimer reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $43.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Wells Fargo & Company cut their price target on Verizon Communications from $40.00 to $36.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Edward Jones cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $39.00 to $40.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 29th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Verizon Communications has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $43.40.
Verizon Communications Stock Performance
VZ opened at $34.04 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a current ratio of 0.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $143.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.81, a PEG ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a fifty day moving average of $33.88 and a 200 day moving average of $36.04. Verizon Communications Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $31.25 and a fifty-two week high of $42.61.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ – Get Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $32.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $33.30 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 22.28% and a net margin of 15.58%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.31 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Verizon Communications Increases Dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.665 per share. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $2.66 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 7.81%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 53.20%.
Insider Activity at Verizon Communications
In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Samantha Hammock sold 12,557 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.29, for a total value of $418,022.53. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.02% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, technology, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. It operates in two segments, Verizon Consumer Group (Consumer) and Verizon Business Group (Business).
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