DF Dent & Co. Inc. raised its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 22.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 8,456 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 1,525 shares during the period. DF Dent & Co. Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $412,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of VZ. Tortoise Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 35.3% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 2,609 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 680 shares in the last quarter. Portfolio Solutions LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at approximately $179,000. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the first quarter valued at approximately $184,000. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 10.5% in the first quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,227 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 403 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Strategic Financial Group LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.3% in the first quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 4,356 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $212,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.35% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded down 0.15% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $48.15. 3,206,148 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $196.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.38 and a beta of 0.56. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $42.80 and a one year high of $54.83. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $45.41 and a 200 day moving average of $47.36.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. The company had revenue of $30.55 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.94 EPS. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a $0.5775 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.79%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is 59.23%.

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Several research firms recently commented on VZ. Argus downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Instinet reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 target price (down from $47.00) on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Sunday, July 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have issued a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.73.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $27,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 8,429 shares in the company, valued at approximately $379,305. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $84,229 over the last quarter. 0.13% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About Verizon Communications

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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