Bickling Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ – Get Rating) by 5.4% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 11,178 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 577 shares during the quarter. Bickling Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $569,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of VZ. First National Bank Sioux Falls lifted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 2.8% in the first quarter. First National Bank Sioux Falls now owns 6,966 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $355,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. Domani Wealth LLC lifted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 2.2% in the first quarter. Domani Wealth LLC now owns 9,145 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $466,000 after buying an additional 197 shares during the period. Lathrop Investment Management Corp lifted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 3.8% in the first quarter. Lathrop Investment Management Corp now owns 5,462 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $278,000 after buying an additional 198 shares during the period. First PREMIER Bank lifted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.7% in the first quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 27,522 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,401,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Finally, Wilson & Boucher Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Verizon Communications by 1.2% in the first quarter. Wilson & Boucher Capital Management LLC now owns 17,693 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $901,000 after buying an additional 202 shares during the period. 62.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Verizon Communications Stock Down 1.1 %
Verizon Communications stock opened at $41.28 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $173.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.36. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1-year low of $40.71 and a 1-year high of $55.51. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $45.41 and a 200 day simple moving average of $49.13. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.56.
Verizon Communications Increases Dividend
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be given a $0.6525 dividend. This represents a $2.61 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.32%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 6th. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.64. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 51.30%.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
Several equities analysts recently weighed in on VZ shares. Moffett Nathanson lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $41.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Thursday, August 18th. Cowen cut their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $71.00 to $64.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, July 25th. Wolfe Research cut their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $51.00 and set a “peer perform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, June 2nd. Bank of America lowered shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $64.00 to $51.00 in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, Barclays lowered shares of Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.68.
In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,558 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.42, for a total value of $80,112.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 33,403 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,717,582.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.
About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, technology, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides postpaid and prepaid service plans; internet access on notebook computers and tablets; wireless equipment, including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled internet devices, such as tablets, and other wireless-enabled connected devices comprising smart watches.
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