Sandy Spring Bank trimmed its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 3.3% in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 221,208 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 7,441 shares during the period. Verizon Communications accounts for about 1.0% of Sandy Spring Bank’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 16th largest holding. Sandy Spring Bank’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $10,948,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of VZ. Legacy Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the third quarter valued at $132,000. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 190.9% in the third quarter. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. now owns 2,705 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $134,000 after purchasing an additional 1,775 shares during the period. Private Vista LLC grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 3,339.1% during the 2nd quarter. Private Vista LLC now owns 389,552 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $143,000 after acquiring an additional 378,225 shares during the period. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 2nd quarter worth about $156,000. Finally, Regal Wealth Group Inc. grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Regal Wealth Group Inc. now owns 3,682 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $164,000 after acquiring an additional 24 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.22% of the company’s stock.
A number of analysts have weighed in on VZ shares. Instinet increased their price target on Verizon Communications from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Nomura upgraded Verizon Communications from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $47.00 to $61.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. ValuEngine upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Moffett Nathanson reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Bank of America set a $52.00 price target on Verizon Communications and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.55.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98. The company had revenue of $31.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.45 billion. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.80% and a return on equity of 58.66%. The business’s revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a dividend of $0.59 per share. 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 4.55%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 60.51%.
In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total transaction of $28,920.10. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $154,983.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.13% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
About Verizon Communications
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.
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