Norway Savings Bank grew its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 9.6% during the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 39,292 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 3,434 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications accounts for approximately 1.3% of Norway Savings Bank’s portfolio, making the stock its 20th biggest position. Norway Savings Bank’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $2,308,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Handelsbanken Fonder AB raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB now owns 1,090,050 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $64,847,000 after acquiring an additional 23,054 shares during the last quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 52,629 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,116,000 after acquiring an additional 790 shares during the last quarter. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY now owns 96,314 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $5,658,000 after acquiring an additional 2,228 shares during the last quarter. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 8.4% in the 3rd quarter. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC now owns 51,718 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,077,000 after acquiring an additional 4,027 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jeppson Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 3rd quarter worth about $1,825,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.85% of the company’s stock.

VZ has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Moffett Nathanson upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $59.00 to $66.00 in a report on Wednesday, December 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $61.00 to $65.00 in a report on Thursday, November 5th. Wolfe Research started coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Monday, October 19th. They issued a “peer perform” rating and a $62.00 target price on the stock. Tigress Financial reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, November 1st. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.00.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 10,411 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.73, for a total value of $601,027.03. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,771 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,372,299.83. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Verizon Communications stock opened at $57.06 on Thursday. Verizon Communications Inc. has a twelve month low of $48.84 and a twelve month high of $61.95. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $59.67 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.65. The company has a market capitalization of $236.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.38, a P/E/G ratio of 3.54 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.76% and a return on equity of 32.15%. The firm had revenue of $31.50 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.60 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.25 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 8th will be given a dividend of $0.6275 per share. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.40%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 7th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 52.18%.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides postpaid and prepaid service plans; Internet access on notebook computers and tablets; wireless equipment, including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled Internet devices, such as tablets, laptop computers and netbooks, and other wireless-enabled connected devices, such as smart watches and other wearables.

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

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