Central Bank & Trust Co. cut its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 6.2% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 61,770 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 4,092 shares during the period. Central Bank & Trust Co.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $3,012,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at approximately $179,000. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth about $184,000. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 10.5% in the first quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,227 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $206,000 after buying an additional 403 shares during the period. Hays Advisory LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 11.8% in the first quarter. Hays Advisory LLC now owns 4,479 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $218,000 after buying an additional 474 shares during the period. Finally, Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 9.8% in the first quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 4,462 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $218,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 62.33% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded up 0.75% on Friday, hitting $48.67. The company had a trading volume of 1,594,251 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $198.54 billion, a PE ratio of 12.51 and a beta of 0.56. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $46.37 and a 200-day moving average price of $47.28. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12-month low of $42.80 and a 12-month high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.84 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.94 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a $0.5775 dividend. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.78%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 59.23%.

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A number of research firms have recently issued reports on VZ. TheStreet raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $48.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Barclays PLC reduced their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have issued a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.73.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $27,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 8,429 shares in the company, valued at approximately $379,305. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $84,229 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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