MBE Wealth Management LLC reduced its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 4.8% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 3,798 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 193 shares during the quarter. MBE Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $204,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Danda Trouve Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Lionsbridge Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth approximately $32,000. HighMark Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at $33,000. Permanens Capital L.P. bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter valued at $37,000. Finally, AlphaCore Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 1st quarter valued at $35,000. 66.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NYSE:VZ opened at $54.71 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $235.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.35, a P/E/G ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 0.99. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $56.24 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.30. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $48.84 and a 52-week high of $62.22.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $31.81 billion for 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 for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.20 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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 $0.615 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.50%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 51.14%.

Verizon Communications announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 6th that authorizes the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the cell phone carrier to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Several research analysts have recently commented on VZ shares. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 6th. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, January 22nd. They issued a “hold” rating and a $63.00 price target on the stock. Tigress Financial reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Thursday, January 23rd. Moffett Nathanson reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Thursday, January 30th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.44.

In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total value of $613,482.40. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 27,501 shares in the company, valued at $1,570,307.10. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

About Verizon Communications

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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