GQ Asset Management LLC Sells 21,674 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

GQ Asset Management LLC lessened its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 90.1% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 2,394 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 21,674 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications makes up 0.2% of GQ Asset Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 22nd biggest position. GQ Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $129,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in VZ. Danda Trouve Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Lionsbridge Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter worth $32,000. HighMark Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter worth $33,000. AlphaCore Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the first quarter worth $35,000. Finally, Permanens Capital L.P. purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter worth $37,000. Institutional investors own 65.98% of the company’s stock.

In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction 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 completion of 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 sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Shares of NYSE VZ traded down $0.26 during trading on Friday, hitting $53.71. The company had a trading volume of 1,114,845 shares, compared to its average volume of 14,904,664. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $56.53 and a 200 day simple moving average of $58.13. 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 12 month low of $48.84 and a 12 month high of $62.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $224.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.64 and a beta of 0.48.

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

Verizon Communications declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 6th that allows the company to buyback 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the cell phone carrier to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th were paid a dividend of $0.615 per share. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.58%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.14%.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on VZ shares. Nomura reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, April 26th. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 28th. Tigress Financial reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, January 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price target on Verizon Communications from $63.00 to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 17th. Finally, Raymond James upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, April 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.44.

Verizon Communications Profile

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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