GAM Holding AG Grows Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

GAM Holding AG increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 8.1% during the second quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 119,424 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 8,964 shares during the period. GAM Holding AG’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $6,009,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Zions Bancorporation bought a new stake in Verizon Communications in the second quarter valued at $4,221,000. Markel Corp bought a new stake in Verizon Communications in the second quarter valued at $2,616,000. Trust Co grew its position in Verizon Communications by 6.5% in the first quarter. Trust Co now owns 100,146 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,789,000 after acquiring an additional 6,126 shares during the period. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. grew its position in Verizon Communications by 24.8% in the first quarter. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. now owns 24,000 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,148,000 after acquiring an additional 4,775 shares during the period. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Verizon Communications by 3.8% in the second quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 59,532 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,995,000 after acquiring an additional 2,158 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.34% of the company’s stock.

Shares of VZ stock opened at $58.46 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90. The firm has a market cap of $236.16 billion, a PE ratio of 15.63, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.46. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $43.97 and a 52 week high of $59.20.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 35.50% and a net margin of 24.71%. The company had revenue of $32.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.45 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.98 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.69 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th were paid a dividend of $0.6025 per share. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.12%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, October 9th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is 64.44%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. ValuEngine cut Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Robert W. Baird upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $56.00 to $58.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Barclays increased their target price on Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.93.

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Verizon Communications Company 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; multimedia, business-focused, and location-based services, as well as international travel services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.

Further Reading: Understanding Market Liquidity

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)

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