Community Financial Services Group LLC raised its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1.7% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 97,422 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 1,663 shares during the period. Verizon Communications accounts for approximately 2.1% of Community Financial Services Group LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 22nd largest position. Community Financial Services Group LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $4,750,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of VZ. HCR Wealth Advisors acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $515,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. raised its position in Verizon Communications by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,068,785 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $56,974,000 after buying an additional 5,067 shares during the period. Congress Asset Management Co. MA acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $8,037,000. Horizon Kinetics LLC raised its position in Verizon Communications by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Horizon Kinetics LLC now owns 31,002 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,655,000 after buying an additional 693 shares during the period. Finally, Capital International Inc. CA raised its position in Verizon Communications by 387.3% in the fourth quarter. Capital International Inc. CA now owns 57,310 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,059,000 after buying an additional 45,550 shares during the period. 62.33% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded down 0.9340% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $48.3244. 3,857,749 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.65 and its 200-day moving average price is $47.30. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $54.83. The stock has a market cap of $197.13 billion, a PE ratio of 12.4227 and a beta of 0.56.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The firm had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.84 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.94 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a dividend of $0.5775 per share. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.74%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 59.23%.

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VZ has been the subject of several recent research reports. SunTrust Banks, Inc. initiated coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. Argus cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Macquarie reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $49.00 price objective (down from $50.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective (down from $51.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.73.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.74, for a total transaction of $29,121.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,819 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $373,279.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders have sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.

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

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