AE Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 19.8% in the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 296,125 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 48,998 shares during the quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $15,911,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. Danda Trouve Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter valued at $25,000. Lionsbridge Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter valued at $32,000. HighMark Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during 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. Institutional investors own 66.77% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on VZ. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $63.00 to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 17th. Moffett Nathanson restated a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, January 30th. SunTrust Banks raised their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 28th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, April 27th. Finally, Nomura reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Sunday, April 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.44.

In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the business’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 transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,501 shares in the company, valued at $1,570,307.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of Verizon Communications stock opened at $54.71 on Friday. 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 firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $56.24 and its 200-day simple moving average is $58.30. Verizon Communications Inc. has a twelve month low of $48.84 and a twelve month high of $62.22. The firm has a market cap of $235.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 0.48.

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 consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.00% and a return on equity of 33.26%. The business had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.37 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.20 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 13th were given a dividend of $0.615 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.50%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 51.14%.

Verizon Communications declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 6th that permits the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the cell phone carrier to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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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