Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) Stake Lessened by Columbia Asset Management

Columbia Asset Management decreased its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 0.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 59,297 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 341 shares during the period. Columbia Asset Management’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $2,890,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors also recently modified their holdings of VZ. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 35.5% in the 1st quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 3,768,615 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $183,720,000 after buying an additional 986,786 shares during the last quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 3,178.5% during the 1st quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 857,040 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $44,549,000 after purchasing an additional 830,899 shares during the last quarter. Hexavest Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 22.3% during the 1st quarter. Hexavest Inc. now owns 3,334,706 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $162,567,000 after purchasing an additional 608,792 shares during the last quarter. Honeywell International Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 285.7% during the 1st quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 675,000 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $32,906,000 after purchasing an additional 500,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 12.8% during the 1st quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 3,860,578 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $188,203,000 after purchasing an additional 439,391 shares during the last quarter. 62.23% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the stock. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Saturday, June 17th. TheStreet raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Moffett Nathanson raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 30th. ValuEngine cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have given a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.00.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) opened at 49.90 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $48.00 and a 200-day moving average of $47.06. The company has a market capitalization of $203.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.83 and a beta of 0.57. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The firm had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.94 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.78 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.59 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.73%. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is 59.23%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.74, for a total transaction of $29,121.40. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 7,819 shares in the company, valued at $373,279.06. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $86,248. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

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About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.

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

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