Raymond James Trust N.A. lifted its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 0.8% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 440,295 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,519 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications comprises about 1.0% of Raymond James Trust N.A.’s portfolio, making the stock its 17th biggest position. Raymond James Trust N.A.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $25,868,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Baron Financial Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 3rd quarter worth $35,000. Avion Wealth raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 191.4% in the 3rd quarter. Avion Wealth now owns 609 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $36,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Kathmere Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Verizon Communications in the 3rd quarter worth $46,000. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. raised its stake in Verizon Communications by 53.4% in the 3rd quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 1,224 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $73,000 after acquiring an additional 426 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Grace Capital purchased a new position in Verizon Communications in the 3rd quarter worth $78,000. 64.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
VZ has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, October 19th. They issued a “peer perform” rating and a $62.00 target price for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $61.00 to $65.00 in a research note on Thursday, November 5th. Wells Fargo & Company initiated coverage on Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, November 16th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $60.00 target price for the company. Moffett Nathanson upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $59.00 to $66.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub lowered 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 assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $62.00.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 21st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $31.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.60 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 32.15% and a net margin of 14.76%. Verizon Communications’s revenue was down 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.25 EPS. As a group, equities 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 will be paid on Monday, February 1st. Investors of record on Friday, January 8th will be issued a $0.6275 dividend. This represents a $2.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.40%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 7th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 52.18%.
In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 10,411 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.73, for a total value of $601,027.03. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,771 shares in the company, valued at $1,372,299.83. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.
About Verizon Communications
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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