Columbia Asset Management lowered its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 0.5% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 58,490 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 308 shares during the period. Columbia Asset Management’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $3,040,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of VZ. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 256,735,733 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $14,336,123,000 after buying an additional 6,630,874 shares during the period. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the second quarter valued at approximately $297,331,000. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 20.0% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 23,807,665 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,237,522,000 after buying an additional 3,960,191 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 6.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 60,876,683 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,399,354,000 after buying an additional 3,662,102 shares during the period. Finally, PGGM Investments boosted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 78.1% in the third quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 6,914,239 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $359,402,000 after buying an additional 3,032,162 shares during the period. 62.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) opened at 52.55 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $214.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.32 and a beta of 0.40. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $52.26 and its 200 day moving average price is $52.01. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12-month low of $43.79 and a 12-month high of $56.95.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.99 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $30.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.08 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 10.97% and a return on equity of 78.75%. Verizon Communications’s revenue was down 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.04 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.89 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.5775 per share. This is a boost from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.01. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, January 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.40%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is presently 67.15%.

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Several analysts have issued reports on VZ shares. Pacific Crest restated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, October 23rd. Drexel Hamilton upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 24th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $51.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, October 23rd. Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $52.16 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 9th. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective (down previously from $55.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Sunday, October 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.19.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 668 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $32,925.72. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 6,047 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $298,056.63. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 672 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.76, for a total transaction of $32,094.72. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 9,182 shares in the company, valued at approximately $438,532.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. The Company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its wireless and wireline networks.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:VZ

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