Gabelli Funds LLC reduced its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 4.1% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 2,334,811 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 100,584 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up approximately 0.7% of Gabelli Funds LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 8th largest position. Gabelli Funds LLC owned 0.06% of Verizon Communications worth $124,632,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of VZ. FMR LLC increased its position in Verizon Communications by 17.9% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 48,743,437 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,601,925,000 after buying an additional 7,388,078 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in Verizon Communications by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 166,049,068 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $8,863,705,000 after buying an additional 5,406,022 shares during the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in Verizon Communications by 19.9% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 29,966,112 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,557,638,000 after buying an additional 4,982,419 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $245,300,000. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its position in Verizon Communications by 20.0% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 23,807,665 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,237,522,000 after buying an additional 3,960,191 shares during the last quarter. 63.38% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) traded down 2.407% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $47.245. 26,440,849 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $49.32 and a 200-day moving average price of $49.96. The stock has a market capitalization of $192.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.718 and a beta of 0.43. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12-month low of $46.01 and a 12-month high of $56.95. Verizon Communications also saw some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Traders bought 42,074 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 391% compared to the average volume of 8,574 call options.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 10.42% and a return on equity of 72.75%. The business earned $29.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.41 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.06 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 10th will be given a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.77%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.74%.
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A number of research analysts recently issued reports on VZ shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 4th. Vetr upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.98 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 24th. Evercore ISI began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, January 30th. They set a “hold” rating and a $53.00 price objective on the stock. Pacific Crest restated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, January 24th. Finally, Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $53.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-three have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $54.23.
In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.66, for a total value of $30,292.60. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,259 shares in the company, valued at approximately $509,461.94. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Roger Gurnani sold 10,804 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.29, for a total value of $543,333.16. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 63,734 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,205,182.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 56,163 shares of company stock worth $2,786,879 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.
About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.
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