Welch Group LLC Increases Stock Holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Welch Group LLC lifted its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1.1% in the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 485,517 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 5,481 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications comprises about 3.0% of Welch Group LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 15th biggest holding. Welch Group LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $29,306,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. boosted its stake in Verizon Communications by 19.2% during the second quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 4,281,706 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $244,614,000 after buying an additional 688,375 shares during the period. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.0% during the second quarter. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. now owns 252,220 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $14,409,000 after purchasing an additional 14,296 shares in the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.3% during the second quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 2,057,475 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $117,566,000 after purchasing an additional 122,790 shares in the last quarter. Foundry Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 10.1% during the second quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 481,450 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $27,505,000 after purchasing an additional 44,265 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Raymond James Trust N.A. lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 17.0% during the third quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 403,298 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $24,343,000 after purchasing an additional 58,674 shares in the last quarter. 65.55% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

VZ has been the topic of several research reports. Moffett Nathanson set a $57.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, September 2nd. Citigroup set a $62.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 10th. ValuEngine raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 24th. Finally, Guggenheim increased their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 28th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $62.69.

In related news, CEO Tami A. Erwin sold 17,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.75, for a total value of $981,750.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 853 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $49,260.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.01, for a total transaction of $75,557.49. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 22,681 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,270,362.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 21,047 shares of company stock worth $1,219,943. 0.03% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

NYSE:VZ traded up $0.26 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $59.61. The stock had a trading volume of 7,753,414 shares, compared to its average volume of 13,203,746. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $60.16 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $58.03. The company has a market capitalization of $246.08 billion, a PE ratio of 12.66, a PEG ratio of 2.97 and a beta of 0.53. Verizon Communications Inc. has a twelve month low of $52.28 and a twelve month high of $61.58. The company has a current ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.99.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its earnings results on Friday, October 25th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $32.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.74 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.26% and a return on equity of 34.50%. The firm’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.22 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, October 10th were issued a $0.615 dividend. This is a boost from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 9th. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.13%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 52.23%.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms.

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

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