Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm bought 336,430 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock, valued at approximately $16,401,000. Verizon Communications comprises about 1.5% of Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 15th largest position.

Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Huff W R Asset Management Co. LLC DE increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 17.5% in the fourth quarter. Huff W R Asset Management Co. LLC DE now owns 86,642 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $4,625,000 after buying an additional 12,918 shares in the last quarter. Excalibur Management Corp increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 5.7% in the first quarter. Excalibur Management Corp now owns 123,976 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $6,044,000 after buying an additional 6,723 shares in the last quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 6.8% in the first quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 4,358,480 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $179,129,000 after buying an additional 277,129 shares in the last quarter. Edge Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.4% in the first quarter. Edge Wealth Management LLC now owns 283,113 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $13,824,000 after buying an additional 3,887 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Congress Asset Management Co. MA bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $8,037,000. 62.35% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) traded up 0.08% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $48.06. The stock had a trading volume of 10,420,529 shares. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $42.80 and a one year high of $54.83. The stock has a market cap of $196.06 billion, a PE ratio of 12.35 and a beta of 0.56. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $45.56 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.34.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th were given a dividend of $0.5775 per share. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is 59.23%.

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Several analysts have commented on VZ shares. TheStreet downgraded Verizon Communications from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 27th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed 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 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Macquarie reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $49.00 price objective (down from $50.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 target price (down from $51.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.73.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.74, for a total transaction of $29,121.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 7,819 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $373,279.06. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. In the last three months, insiders have sold 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $84,229. Company 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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