Gradient Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 12.0% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 142,251 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 15,194 shares during the period. Gradient Investments LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $6,353,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in VZ. Sheets Smith Wealth Management raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.4% in the second quarter. Sheets Smith Wealth Management now owns 40,937 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,828,000 after buying an additional 580 shares in the last quarter. Viking Fund Management LLC raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 29.8% in the second quarter. Viking Fund Management LLC now owns 157,000 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $7,012,000 after buying an additional 36,000 shares in the last quarter. Sentinel Trust Co. LBA raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 94.7% in the second quarter. Sentinel Trust Co. LBA now owns 64,075 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,861,000 after buying an additional 31,166 shares in the last quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.1% in the second quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 237,064 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $10,587,000 after buying an additional 7,113 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harvey Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.4% in the second quarter. Harvey Capital Management Inc. now owns 11,915 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $532,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. 62.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) traded down 0.42% during trading on Friday, hitting $47.69. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 16,919,130 shares. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $42.80 and a one year high of $54.83. The stock has a market cap of $194.55 billion, a PE ratio of 12.26 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $46.01 and a 200-day moving average price of $47.29.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were given a dividend of $0.5775 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.84%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 59.23%.

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Several research analysts recently issued reports on the company. TheStreet raised Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. BidaskClub raised Verizon Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their target price on Verizon Communications from $48.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Barclays PLC reduced their target price on Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Two equities research 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 company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.73.

In related news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total transaction of $27,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 8,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $379,305. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $84,229. 0.13% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Verizon Communications Company 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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