Biondo Investment Advisors LLC decreased its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 11.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 77,129 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 10,339 shares during the period. Verizon Communications accounts for 1.5% of Biondo Investment Advisors LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest position. Biondo Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $4,307,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Hennessy Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 25.2% in the first quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 270,700 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $13,197,000 after buying an additional 54,500 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $15,791,000. Auxier Asset Management boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Auxier Asset Management now owns 42,439 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,265,000 after buying an additional 187 shares during the last quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 17.6% in the fourth quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 17,900 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $955,000 after buying an additional 2,683 shares during the last quarter. Finally, HighPoint Advisor Group LLC boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 98,723 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $4,917,000 after buying an additional 741 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.33% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) traded up 0.77% during trading on Friday, reaching $48.68. The company had a trading volume of 9,846,677 shares. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $54.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $198.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.51 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a 50 day moving average of $46.51 and a 200-day moving average of $47.28.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share 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 firm had revenue of $30.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.84 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.94 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th were given a $0.5775 dividend. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 59.23%.

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A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the company. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Saturday, June 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, July 9th. Zacks Investment Research cut Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. TheStreet upgraded Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $47.62 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.73.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $379,305. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Over the last three months, insiders sold 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $84,229. Corporate 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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