UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp Reduces Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp lowered its stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 65,563 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 1,117 shares during the period. UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $3,746,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. S. R. Schill & Associates raised its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 178 shares in the last quarter. Hengehold Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 179 shares in the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 183 shares in the last quarter. CKW Financial Group raised its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Orca Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. Orca Investment Management LLC now owns 27,425 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,542,000 after acquiring an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 65.59% of the company’s stock.

VZ stock traded up $0.33 during trading on Friday, hitting $55.59. 17,457,563 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 12,338,430. The company has a market capitalization of $228.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.59, a P/E/G ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.53. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $57.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12, a current ratio of 0.87 and a quick ratio of 0.83. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1 year low of $51.76 and a 1 year high of $61.58.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.03. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 12.08% and a return on equity of 34.91%. The business had revenue of $32.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.42 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.20 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 10th were issued a $0.6025 dividend. This represents a $2.41 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.34%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, July 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.17%.

In other Verizon Communications news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.55, for a total value of $76,285.95. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 24,030 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,358,896.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders sold 4,047 shares of company stock worth $234,591 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. UBS Group downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $57.70 price target for the company. in a research note on Thursday, May 30th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Citigroup downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, July 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 16th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $59.87.

About Verizon Communications

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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