Today was a big day for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) shareholders as the waited for the release of the company’s fourth quarter earnings as well as subscriber numbers. The wait was apparently worthwhile as the company reported a very positive fourth quarter. Not only did they beat analyst expectations of 88 cents per share by reporting quarterly earnings of 89 cents per share, but subscriber numbers also grew quite rapidly.
Over the fourth quarter Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) added a staggering 1.5 million new wireless customers. At the same time they increased their FIOS Internet customer base by 99,000 and FIOS Video base by 20,000.
“In 2015, Verizon delivered strong and balanced results in a dynamic competitive environment while returning more than $13.5 billion to shareholders. At the same time, Verizon built and acquired next-generation network capabilities that position the company to be an innovator in the digital-first mobile world in 2016 and beyond,” Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said in a release.
Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) are trading up $0.30 or 0.67% in the pre-market this morning. The stock decreased 0.94% or $0.42 during the last trading session, hitting $44.45. Approximately 2,101 shares traded hands. VZ shares have declined 6.33% since June 16, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 2.54%.
From a total of 11 analysts covering Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) stock, 5 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 5 a “Hold”. This means that 45% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $54 while the lowest target price is $44. The mean of all analyst targets is $50.06 which is 12.62% above today’s ($44.45) stock price. Verizon Communications Inc. was the topic of 15 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Citigroup maintained shares on October 21 with a “Neutral” rating. Zacks upgraded shares to a”Hold” rating and a $53 target share price in their report from an August 14. Argus Research maintained VZ stock in a recent report from October 21 with a “Buy” rating. Vetr downgraded the rating on August 11. Vetr has a “Buy” rating and a $48.62 price target on shares. Finally, Nomura initiated the stock with a “Neutral” rating in a report they issued on an October 16.
The institutional sentiment increased to 1.19 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.05, from 1.14 in 2015Q2. The ratio is positive, as 68 funds sold all their Verizon Communications Inc. shares they owned while 651 reduced their positions. 89 funds bought stakes while 770 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 2.31 billion shares which is 8.50% less than the previous share count of 2.52 billion in 2015Q2.
American Investment Services Inc. holds 10.12% of its total portfolio in Verizon Communications Inc., equating to 417,677 shares. Quaker Capital Investments Llc owns 376,438 shares representing 9.71% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Rathbone Brothers Plc has 9.02% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 3.11 million shares. The Alabama-based 10 has a total of 8.8% of their portfolio invested in the stock. King Investment Advisors Inc Tx, a Texas-based fund reported 28,870 shares owned.
Since May 1, 2015, the stock had 0 insider buys, and 1 sale for a total of $380,674 in net activity. Walden Marni M sold 8,229 shares worth $380,674. Skiadas Anthony T sold 2,708 shares worth $137,404. Mead Daniel S. sold 24,945 shares worth $1.26 million.
Verizon Communications Inc. is a holding firm that, acting through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment services and products to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The company has a market cap of $182.57 billion. The Company’s divisions include Wireless and Wireline. It has 17.69 P/E ratio. The Wireless segment includes the Cellco Partnership doing business as Verizon Wireless.