S. R. Schill & Associates boosted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 2.4% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 7,625 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 178 shares during the period. S. R. Schill & Associates’ holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $429,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Andesa Financial Management Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications by 342.0% during the 4th quarter. Andesa Financial Management Inc. now owns 28,900 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,623,000 after buying an additional 22,361 shares in the last quarter. Dowling & Yahnke LLC increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 15.4% in the 4th quarter. Dowling & Yahnke LLC now owns 51,904 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,130,000 after purchasing an additional 6,936 shares in the last quarter. Gateway Advisory LLC bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter worth $833,000. Watch Point Trust Co increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. Watch Point Trust Co now owns 54,779 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,079,000 after purchasing an additional 484 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lenox Wealth Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 89.0% in the 4th quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 1,482 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $83,000 after purchasing an additional 698 shares in the last quarter. 66.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of research firms have commented on VZ. ValuEngine lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price for the company in a report on Saturday, January 26th. Finally, Tigress Financial reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Friday, December 28th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.07.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.30, for a total value of $81,344.70. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 29,426 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,774,387.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Lowell C. Mcadam sold 285,988 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.72, for a total value of $16,221,239.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 362,932 shares in the company, valued at $20,585,503.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 288,686 shares of company stock worth $16,379,639. Company insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications stock opened at $58.37 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $240.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 0.51. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12 month low of $46.08 and a 12 month high of $61.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 0.91 and a quick ratio of 0.88.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $34.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.45 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 35.96% and a net margin of 11.87%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.86 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be paid a $0.6025 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $2.41 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.13%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 51.17%.

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Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. It operates through Wireless and Wireline segments. The Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, which are provided to consumer, business, and government customers.

Further Reading: Why is Cost of Capital Important?

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

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