First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. decreased its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 50.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 132,047 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 133,838 shares during the period. Verizon Communications comprises about 0.8% of First Citizens Bank & Trust Co.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 27th largest position. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $6,437,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Welch Investments LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at $3,830,000. Baird Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 869,285 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $46,402,000 after buying an additional 22,142 shares during the last quarter. Mandatum Life Insurance Co Ltd increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.9% in the fourth quarter. Mandatum Life Insurance Co Ltd now owns 10,323 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $551,000 after buying an additional 1,416 shares during the last quarter. Haverford Trust Co. boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Haverford Trust Co. now owns 850,700 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $45,410,000 after buying an additional 25,887 shares during the period. Finally, S&T Bank PA boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. S&T Bank PA now owns 78,393 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,185,000 after buying an additional 4,759 shares during the period. 62.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded down 0.10% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $48.86. 10,448,725 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market cap of $199.30 billion, a PE ratio of 12.56 and a beta of 0.56. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12-month low of $42.80 and a 12-month high of $54.83. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $45.05 and a 200-day moving average price of $47.46.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. The business had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.84 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.94 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were given a $0.5775 dividend. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.73%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 59.23%.

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Several research analysts have commented on VZ shares. Barclays PLC lowered their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $49.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, April 13th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. started coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. They set a “hold” rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. Argus cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 21st. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, April 21st. Finally, Macquarie restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $49.00 target price (down previously from $50.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.73.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.34, for a total value of $27,657.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 9,039 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $409,828.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. In the last three months, insiders sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229. 0.13% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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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