Viking Fund Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 21.2% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 120,000 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 21,000 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up about 2.1% of Viking Fund Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 11th largest holding. Viking Fund Management LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $7,368,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of VZ. Kanawha Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.8% in the second quarter. Kanawha Capital Management LLC now owns 167,032 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $9,543,000 after purchasing an additional 1,338 shares during the last quarter. Arjuna Capital raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Arjuna Capital now owns 42,965 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,455,000 after buying an additional 1,082 shares during the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 4,132,673 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $236,100,000 after buying an additional 319,822 shares during the period. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 2nd quarter valued at $4,247,000. Finally, ETF Managers Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 2nd quarter valued at $212,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.25% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Verizon Communications stock opened at $59.10 on Thursday. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $52.28 and a one year high of $62.22. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $60.64 and its 200 day moving average is $59.01. The stock has a market cap of $244.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.55, a P/E/G ratio of 3.72 and a beta of 0.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.99, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 0.89.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 25th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $32.89 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.74 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 34.50% and a net margin of 12.26%. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.22 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.83 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 10th will be paid a $0.615 dividend. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.16%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 52.23%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.42, for a total value of $81,506.58. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 19,983 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,207,372.86. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,346 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.55, for a total transaction of $80,154.30. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,637 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,109,833.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.03% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several analysts recently commented on VZ shares. ValuEngine raised Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 24th. New Street Research reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, January 10th. Nomura downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $67.00 to $65.00 in a report on Monday, November 4th. Zacks Investment Research cut Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Saturday, January 11th. Finally, Guggenheim upped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $69.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 28th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $63.44.

Verizon Communications Company 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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