WBI Investments Inc. Purchases 540,147 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

WBI Investments Inc. increased its position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1,444.4% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 577,544 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after purchasing an additional 540,147 shares during the period. Verizon Communications accounts for 1.5% of WBI Investments Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 20th biggest position. WBI Investments Inc.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $29,057,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of VZ. Boston Partners grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 133.5% in the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 10,503,382 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $528,426,000 after purchasing an additional 6,005,801 shares during the period. CI Global Investments Inc. purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications in the first quarter worth $261,019,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 1.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 270,175,376 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $12,919,788,000 after purchasing an additional 4,270,608 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 101.6% in the first quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 4,756,060 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $227,394,000 after purchasing an additional 2,396,905 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 4.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 52,863,812 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,659,579,000 after purchasing an additional 2,302,664 shares during the period. 64.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

VZ has been the topic of several recent research reports. ValuEngine cut Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 25th. Barclays upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $56.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Scotiabank set a $62.00 price target on Verizon Communications and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.93.

NYSE VZ opened at $57.65 on Thursday. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 12 month low of $43.97 and a 12 month high of $58.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $233.77 billion, a PE ratio of 15.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 0.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.97.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.19 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 35.50% and a net margin of 24.71%. The firm had revenue of $32.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.45 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.69 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 10th were issued a dividend of $0.6025 per share. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. This represents a $2.41 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.18%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, October 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 64.44%.

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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.

Further Reading: How Short Selling Works

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

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