Gateway Investment Advisers LLC Acquires 127,084 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Gateway Investment Advisers LLC increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZGet Rating) by 7.7% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,774,707 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 127,084 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up approximately 1.0% of Gateway Investment Advisers LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 18th largest holding. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $90,066,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.7% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 330,221,086 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $16,821,462,000 after buying an additional 8,570,818 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 4.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 304,700,845 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $15,521,461,000 after acquiring an additional 13,959,954 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 170,483,451 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $8,858,320,000 after acquiring an additional 4,312,242 shares in the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.2% during the first quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 59,782,122 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,045,303,000 after purchasing an additional 2,934,928 shares during the period. Finally, Capital World Investors lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 7.7% during the 1st quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 49,879,143 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,540,898,000 after purchasing an additional 3,568,252 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.83% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Trading Up 1.1 %

Shares of NYSE:VZ opened at $39.93 on Friday. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52-week low of $39.26 and a 52-week high of $55.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.56, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a current ratio of 0.76. The company has a market capitalization of $167.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $44.00 and a 200 day simple moving average of $48.51.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 22nd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.32 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $33.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $33.77 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 15.48% and a return on equity of 26.95%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.37 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 5.19 earnings per share for the current year.

Verizon Communications Increases Dividend

The business 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. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 6th. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.64. This represents a $2.61 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.54%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.30%.

Insider Transactions at Verizon Communications

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,558 shares of the 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 transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 33,403 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,717,582.26. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of analysts recently issued reports on VZ shares. Moffett Nathanson cut Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $41.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Royal Bank of Canada cut their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $57.00 to $54.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. UBS Group lowered their target price on Verizon Communications from $57.00 to $47.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 25th. Wells Fargo & Company decreased their price objective on Verizon Communications from $58.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 8th. Finally, Bank of America cut Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $64.00 to $51.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Verizon Communications has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.61.

About Verizon Communications

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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.

Further Reading

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

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