OLD Republic International Corp lowered its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 4.8% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 1,966,000 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 100,000 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications comprises 3.3% of OLD Republic International Corp’s investment portfolio, making the stock its largest holding. OLD Republic International Corp’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $105,633,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Zeke Capital Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 12.5% in the 4th quarter. Zeke Capital Advisors LLC now owns 102,667 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,304,000 after purchasing an additional 11,382 shares during the period. Compass Ion Advisors LLC bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth about $466,000. Good Life Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.8% in the 4th quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC now owns 34,505 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,121,000 after purchasing an additional 946 shares during the period. Mirador Capital Partners LP boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.4% in the 4th quarter. Mirador Capital Partners LP now owns 53,109 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,261,000 after purchasing an additional 720 shares during the period. Finally, Clear Creek Financial Management LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 4.4% in the 4th quarter. Clear Creek Financial Management LLC now owns 4,781 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $279,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. 66.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have commented on VZ. Barclays restated a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 17th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, January 22nd. They set a “hold” rating and a $63.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $60.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, April 17th. Nomura Securities dropped their price target on Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, March 30th. Finally, SunTrust Banks lifted their price target on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.44.

NYSE VZ opened at $54.71 on Friday. 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 Inc. has a twelve month low of $48.84 and a twelve month high of $62.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $235.87 billion, a PE ratio of 12.35, a P/E/G ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 0.48. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $56.24 and its 200 day moving average is $58.30.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 company 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 company posted $1.20 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th were given a dividend of $0.615 per share. 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 dividend payout ratio is presently 51.14%.

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

In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

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.

See Also: Bollinger Bands

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.