Alps Advisors Inc. Boosts Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

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Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 21.3% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,251,782 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 220,119 shares during the quarter. Alps Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $66,257,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Earnest Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth $103,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at about $128,000. Wagner Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $129,000. Avestar Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $131,000. Finally, Rainier Group Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at about $134,000. 64.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

VZ has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $51.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 21st. Deutsche Bank upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 19th. Scotiabank set a $61.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, August 1st. Finally, Barclays downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $56.00 to $50.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 4th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.42.

Shares of Verizon Communications stock traded up $0.40 on Friday, hitting $53.73. 18,721,974 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 15,680,338. The company has a market capitalization of $220.39 billion, a PE ratio of 14.37, a P/E/G ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.04, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 0.96. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $43.97 and a 52 week high of $55.90.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $32.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.78 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 23.88% and a return on equity of 38.62%. Verizon Communications’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.96 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.6025 per share. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.49%. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 64.44%.

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.

Read More: How to interpret a stock’s beta number

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

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