Country Trust Bank Reduces Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

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Country Trust Bank reduced its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 0.2% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 491,344 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 949 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up about 1.4% of Country Trust Bank’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 25th biggest position. Country Trust Bank’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $27,623,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. S. R. Schill & Associates lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 2.4% during the fourth quarter. S. R. Schill & Associates now owns 7,625 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $429,000 after purchasing an additional 178 shares in the last quarter. Hengehold Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 0.4% during the fourth quarter. Hengehold Capital Management LLC now owns 47,560 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,674,000 after purchasing an additional 179 shares in the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 21.5% during the fourth quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,033 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $58,000 after purchasing an additional 183 shares in the last quarter. Successful Portfolios LLC lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 1.5% during the fourth quarter. Successful Portfolios LLC now owns 13,512 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $760,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CKW Financial Group lifted its position in Verizon Communications by 2.7% during the fourth quarter. CKW Financial Group now owns 7,637 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $429,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.56% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:VZ opened at $59.32 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. The stock has a market cap of $244.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.10 and a beta of 0.48. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $47.13 and a 52 week high of $61.58.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $32.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.13 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 35.40% and a net margin of 12.20%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.17 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were issued a dividend of $0.6025 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $2.41 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.06%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.17%.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on VZ shares. ValuEngine downgraded Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Saturday, May 11th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $57.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Finally, Bank of America set a $64.00 target price on Verizon Communications and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Verizon Communications presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $57.76.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.30, for a total transaction of $81,344.70. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 29,426 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,774,387.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Lowell C. Mcadam sold 285,988 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.72, for a total value of $16,221,239.36. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 362,932 shares in the company, valued at $20,585,503.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 296,169 shares of company stock worth $16,805,577. Insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.

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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; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms.

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

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