Keel Point LLC decreased its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 8.8% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 12,281 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 1,184 shares during the period. Keel Point LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $599,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of VZ. Huff W R Asset Management Co. LLC DE boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 17.5% in the fourth quarter. Huff W R Asset Management Co. LLC DE now owns 86,642 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $4,625,000 after buying an additional 12,918 shares during the period. Excalibur Management Corp boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.7% in the first quarter. Excalibur Management Corp now owns 123,976 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,044,000 after buying an additional 6,723 shares during the period. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.8% in the first quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 4,358,480 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $179,129,000 after buying an additional 277,129 shares during the period. Edge Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.4% in the first quarter. Edge Wealth Management LLC now owns 283,113 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $13,824,000 after buying an additional 3,887 shares during the period. Finally, Congress Asset Management Co. MA bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $8,037,000. 62.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) traded down 0.17% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $47.94. The stock had a trading volume of 3,049,812 shares. The company has a market cap of $195.57 billion, a PE ratio of 12.32 and a beta of 0.56. The company’s 50 day moving average is $45.48 and its 200 day moving average is $47.37. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released 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 business had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.84 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.94 EPS. The business’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 earnings per share 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 paid a $0.5775 dividend. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 59.23%.

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Several analysts have weighed in on VZ shares. TheStreet cut Verizon Communications from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a report on Thursday, April 27th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr raised Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $50.65 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Macquarie reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $49.00 price target (down previously from $50.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price target (down previously from $51.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have issued a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.73.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’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 value of $29,121.40. Following the transaction, 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229 over the last three months. Corporate 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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