Tufton Capital Management lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 9.8% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 156,603 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 13,913 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up approximately 1.4% of Tufton Capital Management’s portfolio, making the stock its 26th largest position. Tufton Capital Management’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $6,994,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Middleton & Co Inc MA increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 5.7% in the 1st quarter. Middleton & Co Inc MA now owns 129,403 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $6,309,000 after purchasing an additional 7,033 shares during the last quarter. Professional Advisory Services Inc. increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 1.0% in the 1st quarter. Professional Advisory Services Inc. now owns 183,622 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $8,952,000 after purchasing an additional 1,734 shares during the last quarter. Mount Vernon Associates Inc. MD increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. Mount Vernon Associates Inc. MD now owns 22,958 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,119,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Granite Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 4.4% in the 1st quarter. Granite Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,022 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $342,000 after purchasing an additional 294 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ledyard National Bank increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 10.4% in the 1st quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 115,986 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $5,654,000 after purchasing an additional 10,948 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.22% of the company’s stock.

In other Verizon Communications 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 transaction of $29,676.50. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,209 shares in the company, valued at approximately $350,717.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders have sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $88,828 over the last quarter. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several analysts recently weighed in on VZ shares. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Moffett Nathanson reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, October 12th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday. Barclays PLC dropped their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, July 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have assigned a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.86.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) opened at 49.21 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $48.48 and a 200-day moving average of $47.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $200.75 billion, a PE ratio of 12.65 and a beta of 0.56. 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 quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The firm had revenue of $31.70 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.45 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.80%. 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 is 60.51%.

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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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