State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D lessened its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 25.4% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 2,641,468 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 900,000 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications comprises approximately 0.6% of State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 28th biggest position. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $148,503,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of VZ. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 120.0% during the fourth quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 880 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $49,000 after buying an additional 480 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Preferred LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $66,000. Advocacy Wealth Management Services LLC grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 25.9% during the fourth quarter. Advocacy Wealth Management Services LLC now owns 1,265 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $71,000 after buying an additional 260 shares in the last quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 89.0% during the fourth quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 1,482 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $83,000 after buying an additional 698 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mackey Komara & Dankovich LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $86,000. 66.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
NYSE VZ opened at $56.58 on Monday. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12 month low of $46.08 and a 12 month high of $61.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a current ratio of 0.87. The stock has a market capitalization of $233.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.01, a P/E/G ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 0.51.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.20% and a return on equity of 35.40%. The company had revenue of $32.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.13 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.17 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be given a $0.6025 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $2.41 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.26%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 51.17%.
In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.30, for a total transaction of $81,344.70. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 29,426 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,774,387.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Lowell C. Mcadam sold 285,988 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.72, for a total transaction of $16,221,239.36. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 362,932 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,585,503.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 288,686 shares of company stock worth $16,379,639 in the last ninety days. 0.03% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
VZ has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. ValuEngine lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective for the company in a report on Saturday, January 26th. Bank of America set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.76.
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Verizon Communications Profile
Verizon Communications, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. It operates through Wireless and Wireline segments. The Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, which are provided to consumer, business, and government customers.
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