Verus Financial Partners Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 4.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 7,615 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 385 shares during the period. Verus Financial Partners Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $449,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at $2,373,000,000. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 7.9% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 39,149,043 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,300,008,000 after acquiring an additional 2,855,873 shares in the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 6.3% in the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 38,318,476 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,251,212,000 after buying an additional 2,262,857 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 25.4% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 34,745,450 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,041,296,000 after buying an additional 7,032,460 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 25,869,512 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,519,834,000 after buying an additional 1,029,507 shares during the last quarter. 64.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of analysts have issued reports on VZ shares. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, March 11th. Tigress Financial upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 30th. Credit Suisse Group decreased their target price on Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $59.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 19th. Scotiabank cut Verizon Communications from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 25th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $62.50.

Shares of NYSE VZ opened at $57.92 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.96. The company has a market cap of $239.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.56, a P/E/G ratio of 3.54 and a beta of 0.44. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $57.52 and its two-hundred day moving average is $57.82. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $52.85 and a 52-week high of $61.95.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.29 by $0.02. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.76% and a return on equity of 32.15%. The company had revenue of $32.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.47 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.26 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 9th were paid a $0.6275 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 8th. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.33%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 52.18%.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,555 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.53, for a total transaction of $91,014.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 36,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,121,244.26. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Verizon Communications Profile

Verizon Communications Inc offers communications, technology, 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, and other wireless-enabled connected devices, such as smart watches.

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

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