Blue Chip Partners Inc. Increases Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

Blue Chip Partners Inc. increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 2.8% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 126,801 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 3,434 shares during the period. Verizon Communications makes up approximately 2.3% of Blue Chip Partners Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 8th largest holding. Blue Chip Partners Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $6,182,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 5.7% during the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 15,133,689 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $807,837,000 after purchasing an additional 820,585 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 7.1% during the 1st quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 4,682,265 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $228,265,000 after purchasing an additional 310,631 shares during the last quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 6.8% during the 1st quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 4,358,480 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $179,129,000 after purchasing an additional 277,129 shares during the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 12.8% during the 1st quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 3,860,578 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $188,203,000 after purchasing an additional 439,391 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its holdings in Verizon Communications by 35.5% during the 1st quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 3,768,615 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $183,720,000 after purchasing an additional 986,786 shares during the last quarter. 62.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on VZ shares. TheStreet upgraded Verizon Communications from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Vetr upgraded Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $47.62 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Saturday, June 17th. Barclays PLC lowered their price target on Verizon Communications from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.00.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.65, for a total value of $29,676.50. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,209 shares in the company, valued at approximately $350,717.85. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders sold a total of 1,830 shares of company stock worth $86,248 over the last 90 days. 0.13% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE VZ) opened at 47.86 on Friday. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12 month low of $42.80 and a 12 month high of $54.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $195.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.30 and a beta of 0.57. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $47.97 and its 200-day moving average price is $47.12.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 63.06% and a net margin of 12.88%. The business had revenue of $30.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.84 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.94 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post $3.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th will be given a $0.59 dividend. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 6th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 59.23%.

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.

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

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