Russell Investments Group Ltd. cut its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 15.9% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 3,681,948 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 694,873 shares during the quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. owned approximately 0.09% of Verizon Communications worth $164,431,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Franklin Parlapiano Turner & Welch LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth approximately $136,000. American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth approximately $140,000. Proficio Capital Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 139.8% during the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 3,158 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $142,000 after acquiring an additional 1,841 shares during the period. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 11.3% during the second quarter. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC now owns 3,749 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $167,000 after acquiring an additional 382 shares during the period. Finally, Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the first quarter worth approximately $179,000. 62.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the 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 directly owns 7,209 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $350,717.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $86,248 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded up 2.5298% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $49.3066. 19,794,518 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $47.97 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.06. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $42.80 and a one year high of $54.83. The stock has a market cap of $201.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.6752 and a beta of 0.57. Verizon Communications also was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Traders bought 27,514 call options on the company. This is an increase of 160% compared to the average volume of 10,571 call options.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96. The firm had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The company’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.94 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate 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. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be given a $0.59 dividend. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.91%. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 59.23%.

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A number of equities analysts have recently commented 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 raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $50.65 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. BidaskClub raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $53.00.

Verizon Communications 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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