ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 499,309 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 4,738 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications makes up about 1.9% of ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 14th largest position. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. owned 122.40% of Verizon Communications worth $24,711,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Whitnell & Co. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Whitnell & Co. now owns 10,316 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $461,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. Caxton Associates LP acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $607,000. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 1,673,761 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $74,961,000 after purchasing an additional 72,980 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 10,704,239 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $478,051,000 after purchasing an additional 136,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 1,018,021 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $45,465,000 after purchasing an additional 50,602 shares in the last quarter. 63.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) opened at $51.91 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.02. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $42.80 and a 52-week high of $53.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $210,295.17, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.58 and a beta of 0.57.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.98. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 58.66% and a net margin of 12.80%. The firm had revenue of $31.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 60.51%.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Monday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total value of $28,920.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares in the company, valued at approximately $154,983.29. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on the company. KeyCorp lifted their price objective on Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “sector weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. HSBC lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $54.83 to $42.80 in a report on Thursday, December 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Moffett Nathanson lowered Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday. Instinet boosted their price target on Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Nomura raised Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $47.00 to $61.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.55.

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Verizon Communications 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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