Cigna Investments Inc. New Purchases 6,831 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Cigna Investments Inc. New boosted its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 5.9% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 121,899 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,831 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications makes up 0.8% of Cigna Investments Inc. New’s portfolio, making the stock its 18th biggest position. Cigna Investments Inc. New’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $6,549,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of VZ. TLW Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. TLW Wealth Management LLC now owns 98,830 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,068,000 after purchasing an additional 335 shares in the last quarter. Financial Consulate Inc. raised its holdings in Verizon Communications by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Financial Consulate Inc. now owns 10,056 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $617,000 after purchasing an additional 1,294 shares in the last quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp raised its holdings in Verizon Communications by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 157,404 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $9,665,000 after purchasing an additional 4,967 shares in the last quarter. CFO4Life Group LLC raised its holdings in Verizon Communications by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. CFO4Life Group LLC now owns 7,655 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $470,000 after purchasing an additional 173 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pegasus Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. now owns 53,949 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,312,000 after acquiring an additional 824 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.98% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:VZ traded up $0.13 on Friday, hitting $54.10. The stock had a trading volume of 19,890,395 shares, compared to its average volume of 15,030,494. The stock has a market cap of $223.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $56.54 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $58.10. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $48.84 and a 52-week high of $62.22.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.37 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.20 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.

Verizon Communications declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 6th that authorizes the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the cell phone carrier to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 13th were given a $0.615 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 51.14%.

In other news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total value of $613,482.40. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 27,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,570,307.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on VZ shares. Cowen raised Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 2nd. Nomura Securities cut their target price on Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 30th. Citigroup increased their target price on Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, April 27th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, April 27th. Finally, Barclays reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.44.

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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