Sheets Smith Wealth Management trimmed its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1.6% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 216,449 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 3,486 shares during the period. Verizon Communications accounts for about 1.9% of Sheets Smith Wealth Management’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 11th largest holding. Sheets Smith Wealth Management’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $12,716,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Baron Financial Group LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the third quarter valued at $35,000. Avion Wealth increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 191.4% in the third quarter. Avion Wealth now owns 609 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the period. Kathmere Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the third quarter valued at $46,000. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 53.4% in the third quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 1,224 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $73,000 after purchasing an additional 426 shares during the period. Finally, Grace Capital acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 3rd quarter worth about $78,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.85% of the company’s stock.
In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 10,411 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.73, for a total transaction of $601,027.03. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 23,771 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,372,299.83. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.76% and a return on equity of 32.15%. The business had revenue of $31.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.60 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.25 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 1st. Investors of record on Friday, January 8th will be given a $0.6275 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 7th. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.40%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 52.18%.
A number of brokerages have weighed in on VZ. Wolfe Research began coverage on Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, October 19th. They set a “peer perform” rating and a $62.00 price target for the company. Wells Fargo & Company began coverage on Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, November 16th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $60.00 price target for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $61.00 to $65.00 in a report on Thursday, November 5th. BidaskClub downgraded Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 30th. Finally, Tigress Financial reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Sunday, November 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.00.
Verizon Communications Company Profile
Verizon Communications Inc offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides postpaid and prepaid service plans; Internet access on notebook computers and tablets; wireless equipment, including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled Internet devices, such as tablets, laptop computers and netbooks, and other wireless-enabled connected devices, such as smart watches and other wearables.
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