Financial Enhancement Group LLC Lowers Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Financial Enhancement Group LLC lowered its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZGet Rating) by 53.2% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,263 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 1,437 shares during the period. Financial Enhancement Group LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $64,000 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. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.7% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 330,221,086 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $16,821,462,000 after purchasing an additional 8,570,818 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.8% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 304,700,845 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $15,521,461,000 after purchasing an additional 13,959,954 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.6% during the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 170,483,451 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $8,858,320,000 after purchasing an additional 4,312,242 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.5% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 73,174,424 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,792,626,000 after purchasing an additional 1,776,263 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.2% during the first quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 59,782,122 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,045,303,000 after purchasing an additional 2,934,928 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.83% of the company’s stock.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Wolfe Research cut their target price on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $51.00 and set a “peer perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 2nd. Raymond James reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Scotiabank downgraded Verizon Communications from a “sector outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Cowen cut their target price on Verizon Communications from $71.00 to $64.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut their target price on Verizon Communications from $59.00 to $58.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Verizon Communications has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.68.

Verizon Communications Trading Down 2.4 %

VZ stock opened at $41.75 on Wednesday. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $45.41 and its 200-day simple moving average is $49.13. The company has a quick ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.56. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $40.71 and a 52-week high of $55.51. The firm has a market cap of $175.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.37, a PEG ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.36.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 22nd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.32 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $33.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $33.77 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 26.95% and a net margin of 15.48%. The company’s revenue was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.37 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 5.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Verizon Communications Increases Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Friday, October 7th will be paid a $0.6525 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 6th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.64. This represents a $2.61 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.25%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 51.30%.

Insider Activity at Verizon Communications

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,558 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.42, for a total value of $80,112.36. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,403 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,717,582.26. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 0.02% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

(Get Rating)

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, 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 comprising smart watches.

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

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