Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. Buys Shares of 161,740 Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. bought a new stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund bought 161,740 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock, valued at approximately $9,763,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in VZ. Centaurus Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 18.2% during the first quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 1,476 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $25,000 after acquiring an additional 227 shares during the period. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 14.8% during the second quarter. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. now owns 109,700 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,267,000 after acquiring an additional 14,175 shares during the period. Bath Savings Trust Co increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 5.5% during the second quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 45,419 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $2,595,000 after acquiring an additional 2,362 shares during the period. Thomasville National Bank increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.1% during the second quarter. Thomasville National Bank now owns 94,417 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $5,394,000 after acquiring an additional 2,882 shares during the period. Finally, Private Trust Co. NA increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.1% during the second quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 56,112 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,205,000 after acquiring an additional 620 shares during the period. 65.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In related news, CEO Tami A. Erwin sold 17,000 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.75, for a total transaction of $981,750.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 853 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $49,260.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 1,349 shares of Verizon Communications stock in a transaction on Monday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.01, for a total transaction of $75,557.49. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 22,681 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,270,362.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 21,047 shares of company stock worth $1,214,722. Insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. Oppenheimer raised Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 27th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, October 4th. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 9th. Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Tuesday, October 15th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $63.00 target price for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, September 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.90.

Verizon Communications stock traded up $0.06 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $60.81. The company had a trading volume of 240,318 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,670,853. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.28 and a 1 year high of $61.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12, a current ratio of 0.87 and a quick ratio of 0.84. The company has a market capitalization of $252.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.91, a P/E/G ratio of 3.06 and a beta of 0.53. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $59.81 and its 200-day simple moving average is $57.87.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The cell phone carrier reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $32.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.42 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.20 earnings per share. Verizon Communications’s revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, October 10th will be paid a $0.615 dividend. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.05%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 9th. This is an increase from Verizon Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 52.23%.

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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