EP Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 8.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 157,274 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 11,700 shares during the period. EP Wealth Advisors LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $7,024,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of VZ. Palo Capital Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.5% during the first quarter. Palo Capital Inc. now owns 101,270 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,937,000 after buying an additional 2,432 shares during the last quarter. Argyle Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.1% during the first quarter. Argyle Capital Management Inc. now owns 91,279 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,450,000 after buying an additional 1,026 shares during the last quarter. BTC Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 9.6% during the first quarter. BTC Capital Management Inc. now owns 111,285 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $5,422,000 after buying an additional 9,766 shares during the last quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 25.2% during the first quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 270,700 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $13,197,000 after buying an additional 54,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wedgewood Investors Inc. PA raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.7% during the first quarter. Wedgewood Investors Inc. PA now owns 28,502 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,389,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. 63.37% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total value of $28,920.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $154,983.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $88,609. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) traded down $0.30 during trading on Thursday, reaching $52.89. 17,705,400 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 15,653,712. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a current ratio of 1.07. The firm has a market capitalization of $217,060.94, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.00 and a beta of 0.57. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12-month low of $42.80 and a 12-month high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98. The firm had revenue of $31.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.45 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.80% and a return on equity of 58.66%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.01 earnings per share. analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.46%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 60.51%.

VZ has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 20th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Bank of America set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Macquarie reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, October 22nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.99.

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Verizon Communications Company Profile

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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