Hixon Zuercher LLC lifted its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ – Get Rating) by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 57,466 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,207 shares during the period. Verizon Communications comprises about 1.9% of Hixon Zuercher LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 24th biggest holding. Hixon Zuercher LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $2,916,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at $1,884,917,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in 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 acquiring an additional 13,959,954 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in 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 acquiring an additional 8,570,818 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its position in Verizon Communications by 71.7% during the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 16,787,501 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $855,155,000 after acquiring an additional 7,008,579 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in Verizon Communications by 81.3% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 10,604,493 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $540,193,000 after acquiring an additional 4,756,222 shares during the period. 62.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Verizon Communications Trading Down 2.7 %
Shares of VZ opened at $39.48 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.56. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12-month low of $39.47 and a 12-month high of $55.51. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $44.21 and a 200 day moving average price of $48.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $165.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.91, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.36.
Verizon Communications Increases Dividend
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.6525 per share. This represents a $2.61 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.61%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 6th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.64. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 51.30%.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
A number of research firms have weighed in on VZ. Scotiabank cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “sector outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. StockNews.com cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $58.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Royal Bank of Canada dropped their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $57.00 to $54.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, Bank of America lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $64.00 to $51.00 in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.61.
Insiders Place Their Bets
In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,558 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.42, for a total transaction of $80,112.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 33,403 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,717,582.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. 0.02% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Verizon Communications Profile
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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