Community Trust & Investment Co. increased its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 10.6% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 4,927 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 473 shares during the period. Community Trust & Investment Co.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $240,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,712,958,000. I.G. Investment Management LTD. boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 65.9% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 5,237,863 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $279,597,000 after buying an additional 2,080,548 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 35.5% in the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 3,768,615 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $183,720,000 after buying an additional 986,786 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.33% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded down 0.2568% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $48.3555. The stock had a trading volume of 2,588,286 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $45.73 and its 200 day moving average price is $47.29. 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 $197.26 billion, a PE ratio of 12.4307 and a beta of 0.56.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were given a dividend of $0.5775 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.76%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 59.23%.

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Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. Vetr raised shares of 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 reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. ValuEngine cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of 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 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Two 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 stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.73.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 approximately $373,279.06. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229. 0.13% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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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