Afam Capital Inc. bought a new stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm bought 67,121 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock, valued at approximately $2,998,000.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Palo Capital Inc. lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 2.5% during the first quarter. Palo Capital Inc. now owns 101,270 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $4,937,000 after buying an additional 2,432 shares in the last quarter. Argyle Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 1.1% during the first quarter. Argyle Capital Management Inc. now owns 91,279 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $4,450,000 after buying an additional 1,026 shares in the last quarter. BTC Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 9.6% during the first quarter. BTC Capital Management Inc. now owns 111,285 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $5,422,000 after buying an additional 9,766 shares in the last quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 25.2% during the first quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 270,700 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $13,197,000 after buying an additional 54,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wedgewood Investors Inc. PA lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 0.7% during the first quarter. Wedgewood Investors Inc. PA now owns 28,502 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,389,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.37% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.62, for a total value of $29,658.20. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 5,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $291,185.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders sold 1,830 shares of company stock valued at $88,609 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) traded down $0.30 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $52.89. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 17,705,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 15,653,712. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a current ratio of 1.07. The firm has a market capitalization of $217,060.94, a PE ratio of 14.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.00 and a beta of 0.57. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $42.80 and a one year high of $54.83.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 58.66% and a net margin of 12.80%. The business had revenue of $31.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.45 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.46%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is presently 60.51%.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on the company. Moffett Nathanson reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. HSBC downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $54.83 to $42.80 in a research report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Instinet lifted their price objective on Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company upgraded Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 20th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.99.

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Verizon Communications 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.

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

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