Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC Boosts Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 3.3% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 182,792 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after buying an additional 5,905 shares during the quarter. Villere ST Denis J & Co. LLC’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $10,874,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the 2nd quarter valued at $27,000. Toth Financial Advisory Corp purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the 2nd quarter valued at $34,000. Laidlaw Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Verizon Communications by 6,131.5% during the 2nd quarter. Laidlaw Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,967,354 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $36,000 after purchasing an additional 1,935,783 shares during the last quarter. HighMark Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Verizon Communications by 52.1% during the 2nd quarter. HighMark Wealth Management LLC now owns 788 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $43,000 after purchasing an additional 270 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC grew its position in Verizon Communications by 166.7% during the 2nd quarter. Evolution Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 800 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $44,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.85% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Raymond James lifted their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Thursday, July 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Wednesday, September 9th. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, October 19th. They issued a “peer perform” rating and a $62.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Oppenheimer began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, September 15th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $70.00 price objective for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.90.

Verizon Communications stock opened at $56.31 on Thursday. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1 year low of $48.84 and a 1 year high of $62.22. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $59.12 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.45. The company has a market cap of $233.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.21, a PEG ratio of 3.54 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.96.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 21st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 14.76% and a return on equity of 32.15%. The company had revenue of $31.50 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.60 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.25 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, October 9th will be issued a $0.6275 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 8th. This is a boost from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. This represents a $2.51 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.46%. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 52.18%.

Verizon Communications Profile

Verizon Communications Inc offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. Its Consumer segment provides postpaid and prepaid service plans; Internet access on notebook computers and tablets; wireless equipment, including smartphones and other handsets; and wireless-enabled Internet devices, such as tablets, laptop computers and netbooks, and other wireless-enabled connected devices, such as smart watches and other wearables.

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

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