Apella Capital LLC bought a new stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ – Free Report) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The fund bought 12,922 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock, valued at approximately $481,000.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 333,096,547 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $12,954,125,000 after buying an additional 2,066,003 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.0% in the 1st quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 89,325,871 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,446,395,000 after acquiring an additional 3,448,893 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 80,022,393 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,105,742,000 after acquiring an additional 339,775 shares during the period. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 88,532.0% in the 4th quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 79,084,569 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,115,932,000 after acquiring an additional 78,995,341 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 21.4% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 67,976,459 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,678,273,000 after acquiring an additional 11,987,691 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.06% of the company’s stock.
Insider Buying and Selling
In related news, EVP Samantha Hammock sold 12,557 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.29, for a total transaction of $418,022.53. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.02% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Verizon Communications Stock Up 0.5 %
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ – Get Free Report) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.21 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $32.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $33.30 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 22.28% and a net margin of 15.58%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.31 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.73 EPS for the current year.
Verizon Communications Increases Dividend
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.665 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 6th. This is a boost from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $2.66 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 7.81%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 52.20%.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
A number of analysts have commented on the company. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $44.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Oppenheimer reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $43.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their price objective on Verizon Communications from $40.00 to $36.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. HSBC reduced their price objective on Verizon Communications from $42.50 to $39.00 in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Edward Jones downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Verizon Communications has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $43.40.
About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, technology, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. It operates in two segments, Verizon Consumer Group (Consumer) and Verizon Business Group (Business).
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