Taconic Capital Advisors LP acquired a new position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor acquired 50,000 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock, valued at approximately $2,438,000. Verizon Communications makes up approximately 1.2% of Taconic Capital Advisors LP’s portfolio, making the stock its 15th largest position.

Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Ancora Advisors LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 31.0% in the fourth quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 148,042 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $7,903,000 after buying an additional 35,054 shares in the last quarter. Kovitz Investment Group Partners LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 9.6% in the fourth quarter. Kovitz Investment Group Partners LLC now owns 6,258 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $334,000 after buying an additional 547 shares in the last quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. now owns 53,254 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,843,000 after buying an additional 1,145 shares in the last quarter. Avenir Corp increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Avenir Corp now owns 6,977 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $372,000 after buying an additional 467 shares in the last quarter. Finally, GLG LLC increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 12.6% in the fourth quarter. GLG LLC now owns 239,664 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $12,793,000 after buying an additional 26,864 shares in the last quarter. 62.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded down 0.10% during trading on Thursday, hitting $48.17. 2,967,483 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $196.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.38 and a beta of 0.56. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $54.83. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $45.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.36.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96. The company had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 63.06%. The firm’s revenue was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.94 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.79 earnings per share for the current year.

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

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A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. SunTrust Banks, Inc. assumed coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. They set a “hold” rating and a $50.00 price objective for the company. Barclays PLC dropped their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $52.00 to $49.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, April 13th. Argus downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 21st. BidaskClub raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.73.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.74, for a total value of $29,121.40. Following 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 legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $84,229 in the last ninety days. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by 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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