Pictet Asset Management Ltd. Increases Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 12.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 3,860,578 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 439,391 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. owned 0.09% of Verizon Communications worth $188,203,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Davy Asset Management Ltd boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Davy Asset Management Ltd now owns 240,905 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $14,753,000 after buying an additional 4,254 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,003,134 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $53,543,000 after buying an additional 41,016 shares during the period. Menta Capital LLC boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Menta Capital LLC now owns 84,550 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,513,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Parallel Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,965,000. Finally, Chilton Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Chilton Capital Management LLC now owns 194,769 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $10,397,000 after buying an additional 1,505 shares during the period. 62.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) opened at 47.69 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $46.01 and its 200-day moving average is $47.29. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $54.83. The firm has a market cap of $194.55 billion, a PE ratio of 12.26 and a beta of 0.56.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96. The company had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.94 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were paid a dividend of $0.5775 per share. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is presently 59.23%.

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A number of brokerages have recently commented on VZ. TheStreet upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $48.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Barclays PLC dropped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have issued a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.73.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total transaction of $27,450.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 8,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $379,305. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders have sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229 in the last ninety days. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

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