Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. Sells 492,222 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. decreased its position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 77.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 141,329 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 492,222 shares during the period. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $6,890,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $3,076,000. Highland Private Wealth Management increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 9.8% in the fourth quarter. Highland Private Wealth Management now owns 9,111 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $487,000 after buying an additional 810 shares during the period. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI increased its stake in Verizon Communications by 12.8% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 1,094,482 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $58,423,000 after buying an additional 124,118 shares during the period. Private Advisory Group LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth $898,000. Finally, Asset Planning Services Inc. LA ADV purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $4,101,000. Institutional investors own 62.61% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) traded up 0.27% during trading on Friday, reaching $47.94. 25,296,508 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $42.80 and a 52 week high of $55.82. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $44.95 and a 200-day moving average price of $47.59. The stock has a market capitalization of $195.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.32 and a beta of 0.54. Verizon Communications also saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock investors bought 18,624 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 201% compared to the average volume of 6,187 put options.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96. The business had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.84 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. Verizon Communications’s quarterly revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.94 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.76 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be given a dividend of $0.5775 per share. This represents a $2.31 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.82%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 59.23%.

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A number of brokerages have commented on VZ. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Saturday, June 17th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Moffett Nathanson upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-three have issued a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.96.

In other news, EVP Marni M. Walden sold 16,362 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.08, for a total transaction of $753,960.96. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,797 shares in the company, valued at $543,605.76. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, 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 value of $27,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 8,429 shares in the company, valued at $379,305. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 17,582 shares of company stock worth $809,068. 0.13% of the stock is currently owned by company 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.

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

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