Wedbush Securities Inc. raised its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 5.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 109,047 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 5,289 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up about 1.0% of Wedbush Securities Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 9th largest position. Wedbush Securities Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $6,089,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at $1,752,072,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in Verizon Communications by 102.0% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 5,912,820 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $319,765,000 after buying an additional 2,985,510 shares during the period. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 45.1% in the first quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 6,069,655 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $328,247,000 after buying an additional 1,885,482 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 1.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 108,614,434 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $5,873,869,000 after buying an additional 1,582,173 shares during the period. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its position in Verizon Communications by 104.6% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 3,054,161 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $165,168,000 after buying an additional 1,561,110 shares during the period. 63.49% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) traded down 0.19% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $51.88. 19,932,330 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $53.30 and a 200 day moving average of $52.85. The company has a market capitalization of $211.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.66 and a beta of 0.26. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1-year low of $42.20 and a 1-year high of $56.95.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.02. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 87.41% and a net margin of 11.10%. The business earned $30.53 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.95 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.04 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.0125 per share. This represents a $0.05 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 5th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is 63.84%.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. Vetr downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.36 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, May 30th. Morgan Stanley reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, June 6th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Sunday, June 12th. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, June 8th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Twenty-three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $54.50.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.81, for a total transaction of $36,832.32. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 11,198 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $613,762.38. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The Company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its wireless and wireline networks.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

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