Murphy Capital Management Inc. Sells 2,017 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

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Murphy Capital Management Inc. reduced its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1.0% in the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 190,742 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 2,017 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications makes up 1.7% of Murphy Capital Management Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 16th largest holding. Murphy Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $11,513,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Domani Wealth LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 8.0% during the 3rd quarter. Domani Wealth LLC now owns 7,517 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $454,000 after purchasing an additional 558 shares during the last quarter. Carlton Hofferkamp & Jenks Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Carlton Hofferkamp & Jenks Wealth Management LLC now owns 35,724 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,137,000 after purchasing an additional 294 shares during the last quarter. Larson Financial Group LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 103.8% during the 3rd quarter. Larson Financial Group LLC now owns 4,206 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $254,000 after purchasing an additional 2,142 shares during the last quarter. Rockland Trust Co. raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 4.8% during the 3rd quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 438,216 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $25,859,000 after purchasing an additional 19,908 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Intellectus Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 13.7% in the 3rd quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC now owns 24,692 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,490,000 after buying an additional 2,979 shares in the last quarter. 65.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Citigroup set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 10th. ValuEngine cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, October 4th. Oppenheimer upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 27th. Nomura set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 18th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, September 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.81.

Shares of VZ stock traded up $0.25 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $60.08. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,060,798 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,048,480. The company has a market cap of $246.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.75, a PEG ratio of 2.98 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a current ratio of 0.87. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $59.07 and its two-hundred day moving average is $57.83. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1-year low of $52.28 and a 1-year high of $61.58.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $32.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.42 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.08% and a return on equity of 34.91%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.20 EPS. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.81 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, October 10th will be given a dividend of $0.615 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 9th. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.09%. This is a boost from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 51.17%.

In related news, CEO Tami A. Erwin sold 17,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.75, for a total transaction of $981,750.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 853 shares in the company, valued at approximately $49,260.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.55, for a total transaction of $76,285.95. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 24,030 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,358,896.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 21,047 shares of company stock valued at $1,214,722 in the last quarter. 0.03% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

About Verizon Communications

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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