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PFS Investments Inc. Increases Position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

PFS Investments Inc. raised its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZGet Rating) by 36.7% during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 467,203 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 125,531 shares during the period. PFS Investments Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $23,799,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. Rinkey Investments purchased a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter worth about $27,000. Cordant Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the 1st quarter worth about $30,000. Lansing Street Advisors acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 1st quarter valued at about $35,000. Conrad Siegel Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 1st quarter valued at about $36,000. Finally, Gibson Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at about $37,000. 62.83% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Verizon Communications Trading Up 2.2 %

NYSE VZ opened at $42.24 on Friday. 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 firm has a market cap of $177.40 billion, a PE ratio of 8.46, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.36. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $40.71 and a one year high of $55.51. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $45.78 and its two-hundred day moving average is $49.32.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 22nd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.32 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $33.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $33.77 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 15.48% and a return on equity of 26.95%. The firm’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.37 EPS. Analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 5.2 earnings per share for the current year.

Verizon Communications Increases Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 7th will be issued a $0.6525 dividend. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.64. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 6th. This represents a $2.61 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.18%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is presently 51.30%.

Insider Activity

In other Verizon Communications 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 transaction of $80,112.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 33,403 shares in the company, valued at $1,717,582.26. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research firms have commented on VZ. UBS Group cut their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $57.00 to $47.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 25th. Scotiabank cut shares of Verizon Communications from a “sector outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $57.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft dropped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $59.00 to $58.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Finally, Wolfe Research dropped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $51.00 and set a “peer perform” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, June 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.68.

Verizon Communications Profile

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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.

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