Loudon Investment Management LLC raised its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 7.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 7,787 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 559 shares during the period. Loudon Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $380,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 35.5% in the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 3,768,615 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $183,720,000 after buying an additional 986,786 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 15,133,689 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $807,837,000 after buying an additional 820,585 shares in the last quarter. Hexavest Inc. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 22.3% in the first quarter. Hexavest Inc. now owns 3,334,706 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $162,567,000 after buying an additional 608,792 shares in the last quarter. Honeywell International Inc. raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 285.7% in the first quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 675,000 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $32,906,000 after buying an additional 500,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 1,740.4% in the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 441,284 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $21,513,000 after buying an additional 417,307 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.32% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded down 0.58% on Wednesday, hitting $48.23. The stock had a trading volume of 2,096,266 shares. The firm has a market cap of $196.75 billion, a PE ratio of 12.40 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $46.51 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.28. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The company had revenue of $30.55 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.94 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th were paid a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.76%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 59.23%.

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A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $50.65 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, May 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Sunday, July 9th. BidaskClub upgraded Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.73.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.74, for a total value of $29,121.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 7,819 shares in the company, valued at $373,279.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders sold 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $86,248 in the last 90 days. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Verizon Communications Company 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.

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

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