Artemis Investment Management LLP lessened its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 43.1% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,298,969 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 982,917 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications comprises 1.0% of Artemis Investment Management LLP’s portfolio, making the stock its 24th largest holding. Artemis Investment Management LLP’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $79,660,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of VZ. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth about $28,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth about $39,000. Advocacy Wealth Management Services LLC grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 35.8% during the third quarter. Advocacy Wealth Management Services LLC now owns 687 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 181 shares in the last quarter. WealthStone Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth about $45,000. Finally, Fulcrum Equity Management purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the third quarter worth about $48,000. 65.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE:VZ traded down $0.22 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $58.93. The stock had a trading volume of 2,581,570 shares, compared to its average volume of 12,432,471. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $60.66 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $59.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $243.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.51, a P/E/G ratio of 3.71 and a beta of 0.51. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $52.28 and a one year high of $62.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.99, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 0.89.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 25th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.01. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 34.50% and a net margin of 12.26%. The firm had revenue of $32.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.74 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.22 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.83 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 10th will be given a $0.615 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.17%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 52.23%.

Several research analysts have recently commented on VZ shares. Nomura lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $67.00 to $65.00 in a report on Monday, November 4th. Sanford C. Bernstein started coverage on Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, October 15th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $63.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Saturday. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 9th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson set a $57.00 target price on Verizon Communications and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $63.44.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,346 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.55, for a total value of $80,154.30. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 18,637 shares in the company, valued at $1,109,833.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.42, for a total value of $81,506.58. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 19,983 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,207,372.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.

About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms.

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

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