Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund bought 236,270 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock, valued at approximately $11,610,000. Verizon Communications makes up approximately 0.9% of Kentucky Retirement Systems’ portfolio, making the stock its 20th largest holding.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of VZ. United Bank raised its position in Verizon Communications by 8.9% in the second quarter. United Bank now owns 42,051 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,116,000 after purchasing an additional 3,441 shares during the period. Private Management Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.7% during the second quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 795,200 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $40,007,000 after acquiring an additional 28,525 shares during the period. Hartford Financial Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 99.6% during the second quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 39,148 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $1,970,000 after acquiring an additional 19,535 shares during the period. Country Trust Bank increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 18.7% during the second quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 530,117 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $26,670,000 after acquiring an additional 83,453 shares during the period. Finally, Azimuth Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.8% during the second quarter. Azimuth Capital Management LLC now owns 272,997 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $13,734,000 after acquiring an additional 2,192 shares during the period. 65.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.12, for a total value of $77,054.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 25,549 shares in the company, valued at $1,459,358.88. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Lowell C. Mcadam sold 285,988 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.72, for a total transaction of $16,221,239.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 362,932 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $20,585,503.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.09 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 11.87% and a return on equity of 35.96%. The firm had revenue of $34.28 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.86 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be paid a $0.6025 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.16%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.17%.
A number of analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. ValuEngine raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, December 3rd. Morgan Stanley lowered Verizon Communications from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, December 12th. Tigress Financial reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Friday, December 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Saturday, January 26th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.76.
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Verizon Communications Company Profile
Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; multimedia, business-focused, and location-based services, as well as international travel services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.
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