Westpac Banking Corp Increases Holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Westpac Banking Corp raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 6.4% in the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 393,405 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 23,581 shares during the period. Westpac Banking Corp’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $19,470,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Sterneck Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 14.0% during the first quarter. Sterneck Capital Management LLC now owns 115,709 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $5,641,000 after acquiring an additional 14,228 shares in the last quarter. National Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.7% during the first quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 80,410 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,924,000 after acquiring an additional 1,350 shares in the last quarter. Shelton Capital Management increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 58.8% during the first quarter. Shelton Capital Management now owns 158,246 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $7,714,000 after acquiring an additional 58,576 shares in the last quarter. Flaharty Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Finally, Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.1% during the first quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 69,133 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,370,000 after acquiring an additional 3,375 shares in the last quarter. 63.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) traded down $0.25 during trading on Monday, hitting $51.86. 17,673,600 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 14,982,733. The stock has a market cap of $211,560.00, a PE ratio of 13.30, a PEG ratio of 4.68 and a beta of 0.57. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1-year low of $42.80 and a 1-year high of $53.69. The company has a quick ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98. The business had revenue of $31.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.45 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.80% and a return on equity of 58.66%. The company’s revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.01 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.55%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 60.51%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.62, for a total transaction of $29,658.20. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 5,989 shares in the company, valued at approximately $291,185.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

VZ has been the subject of several analyst reports. Cowen reissued a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Moffett Nathanson reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.98.

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Verizon Communications Profile

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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