Smith Moore & CO. Has $3.24 Million Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Smith Moore & CO. lessened its stake in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZGet Rating) by 2.2% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 63,793 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 1,417 shares during the period. Smith Moore & CO.’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $3,238,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in VZ. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA bought a new stake in Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth $28,000. Cordant Inc. acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the first quarter valued at about $30,000. HBC Financial Services PLLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the second quarter valued at about $30,000. Lansing Street Advisors bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the first quarter valued at about $35,000. Finally, Founders Capital Management acquired a new position in Verizon Communications during the second quarter worth about $34,000. 62.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Verizon Communications Stock Performance

Shares of NYSE:VZ traded down $0.28 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $38.92. The company had a trading volume of 14,170,012 shares, compared to its average volume of 21,782,224. The company has a current ratio of 0.75, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.50. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $38.01 and its 200-day moving average price is $44.21. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $34.55 and a one year high of $55.51. The firm has a market cap of $163.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.44, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.38.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 21st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 25.80% and a net margin of 14.22%. The company had revenue of $34.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $33.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.41 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 5.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Verizon Communications Increases Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Friday, October 7th were paid a $0.6525 dividend. This represents a $2.61 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.71%. This is a positive change from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.64. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 6th. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 56.62%.

Analyst Ratings Changes

VZ has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Barclays lowered their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $40.00 to $37.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 24th. Oppenheimer raised Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $50.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Citigroup dropped their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $48.00 to $39.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 25th. Cowen dropped their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $64.00 to $55.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 24th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson downgraded Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $41.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Thursday, August 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.60.

Verizon Communications Profile

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Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, offers communications, technology, 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, and other wireless-enabled connected devices comprising smart watches.

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

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