Fosun International Ltd Decreases Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Fosun International Ltd cut its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 55.3% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 4,130 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 5,105 shares during the quarter. Fosun International Ltd’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $226,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $2,775,411,000. Parnassus Investments CA purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at $728,007,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 89.7% during the 4th quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 16,075,176 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $986,935,000 after buying an additional 7,601,512 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 21.5% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 20,570,713 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,263,042,000 after buying an additional 3,644,196 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 22.0% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 18,218,551 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $978,883,000 after acquiring an additional 3,290,700 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.98% of the company’s stock.

In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 1st. The shares were 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 can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE VZ traded up $0.13 during trading on Friday, hitting $54.10. 19,890,395 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 15,030,494. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1 year low of $48.84 and a 1 year high of $62.22. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $56.54 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $223.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.21, a P/E/G ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.37 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.20 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 13th were issued a dividend of $0.615 per share. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.55%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 51.14%.

Several analysts have issued reports on VZ shares. Raymond James upped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, April 27th. Citigroup upped their target price on Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, April 27th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, April 27th. SunTrust Banks boosted their price target on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 28th. Finally, Nomura restated a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Sunday, April 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price 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.

Featured Story: Book Value Per Share in Stock Trading

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding VZ? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Verizon Communications Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Verizon Communications and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.