Maple Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 4.8% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 121,887 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 5,636 shares during the period. Maple Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $5,443,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. State Street Corp boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 1.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 168,115,884 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $8,195,661,000 after buying an additional 2,066,816 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,712,958,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 6.9% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 18,125,956 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $883,641,000 after buying an additional 1,167,752 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 2.1% in the first quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 15,452,275 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $753,262,000 after buying an additional 318,586 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 1.8% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 7,651,193 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $372,996,000 after buying an additional 133,038 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.35% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) traded down 0.27% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $48.09. The company had a trading volume of 5,907,983 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average is $45.41 and its 200-day moving average is $47.36. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $54.83. The firm has a market cap of $196.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.36 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 Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96. The firm had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.94 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 EPS for the current fiscal 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.79%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 59.23%.

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VZ has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Vetr raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $47.44 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. ValuEngine cut Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Two research 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 has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.73.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.74, for a total transaction of $29,121.40. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,819 shares in the company, valued at $373,279.06. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

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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