Meritage Portfolio Management lessened its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 8.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 95,680 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 8,616 shares during the quarter. Meritage Portfolio Management’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $4,814,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of VZ. Earnest Partners LLC bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter valued at $103,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 1st quarter valued at $128,000. Wagner Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter valued at $129,000. Avestar Capital LLC bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter valued at $131,000. Finally, Rainier Group Investment Advisory LLC bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 1st quarter valued at $134,000. 64.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on VZ shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 6th. Barclays cut shares of Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $56.00 to $50.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 4th. Moffett Nathanson reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $56.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, September 4th. Scotiabank set a $61.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $51.00 to $56.00 in a report on Thursday, June 21st. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.42.

Shares of Verizon Communications stock traded up $0.40 during trading on Friday, hitting $53.73. The stock had a trading volume of 18,721,974 shares, compared to its average volume of 15,680,338. The stock has a market cap of $220.39 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.37, a PEG ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.71. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12 month low of $43.97 and a 12 month high of $55.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.04, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 0.96.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.06. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 23.88% and a return on equity of 38.62%. The firm had revenue of $32.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.78 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.96 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 10th will be given a $0.6025 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 9th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.49%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 64.44%.

About Verizon Communications

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; multimedia, business-focused, and location-based services, as well as international travel services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.

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

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