Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Co boosted its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 3.4% in the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 456,700 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 15,000 shares during the period. Verizon Communications comprises 0.5% of Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Co’s holdings, making the stock its 17th biggest position. Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Co’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $24,538,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. State Street Corp increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 164,278,821 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $10,086,720,000 after buying an additional 1,424,504 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 4.3% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 62,486,079 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,829,119,000 after buying an additional 2,548,889 shares during the period. Capital World Investors increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 51,341,129 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,152,345,000 after buying an additional 833,751 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at about $2,775,411,000. Finally, FMR LLC increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 4.0% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 44,620,912 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,739,725,000 after buying an additional 1,704,351 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.45% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have commented on VZ. Cowen raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, March 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 1st. Oppenheimer began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, April 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $70.00 target price on the stock. Barclays reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, April 17th. Finally, Raymond James lifted their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, April 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.63.

In other Verizon Communications news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 1st. The shares were 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,570,307.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

VZ traded down $1.48 during trading on Monday, reaching $55.90. 13,431,490 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 15,706,547. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $48.84 and a one year high of $62.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02. The stock has a market capitalization of $237.44 billion, a PE ratio of 12.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.85 and a beta of 0.47. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $56.45 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $57.90.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 firm 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 firm posted $1.20 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

Verizon Communications declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, February 6th that permits the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the cell phone carrier to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board 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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