North Star Asset Management Inc. reduced its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 0.2% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 263,033 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 621 shares during the period. Verizon Communications accounts for approximately 1.4% of North Star Asset Management Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 15th largest position. North Star Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $12,823,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. HCR Wealth Advisors acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $515,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake 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 worth $56,974,000 after buying an additional 5,067 shares during the last quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $8,037,000. Horizon Kinetics LLC boosted its stake 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 worth $1,655,000 after buying an additional 693 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Inc. CA boosted its stake 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 worth $3,059,000 after buying an additional 45,550 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.33% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) traded down 1.09% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $48.25. The stock had a trading volume of 3,819,485 shares. The stock has a market cap of $196.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.40 and a beta of 0.56. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $54.83. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $45.65 and a 200-day moving average price of $47.30.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96. The firm had revenue of $30.55 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.94 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 EPS for the current year.

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

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VZ has been the subject of a number of research reports. TheStreet cut Verizon Communications from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 27th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr raised Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $50.65 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Macquarie reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $49.00 price target (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 target (down from $51.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.73.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total transaction of $27,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 8,429 shares in the company, valued at approximately $379,305. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $84,229 in the last 90 days. 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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