Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC trimmed its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 0.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 167,345 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 1,550 shares during the quarter. Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $7,473,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of VZ. State Street Corp grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.2% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 168,115,884 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $8,195,661,000 after buying an additional 2,066,816 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 6.9% during the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 18,125,956 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $883,641,000 after purchasing an additional 1,167,752 shares during the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 35.5% during the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 3,768,615 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $183,720,000 after purchasing an additional 986,786 shares during the last quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 22.5% during the second quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 5,339,889 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $183,686,000 after purchasing an additional 981,409 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 3,178.5% during the first quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 857,040 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $44,549,000 after purchasing an additional 830,899 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.33% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have weighed in on VZ shares. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $50.65 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. BidaskClub upgraded Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.73.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) traded up 0.30% on Monday, reaching $46.25. 4,742,017 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $47.75 and its 200 day moving average price is $47.19. The company has a market cap of $188.67 billion, a PE ratio of 11.89 and a beta of 0.57. 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 earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The firm had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.94 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be issued a $0.59 dividend. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.12%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 6th. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 59.23%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.65, for a total value of $29,676.50. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 7,209 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $350,717.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $86,248 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

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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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