Argent Trust Co Reduces Position in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

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Argent Trust Co decreased its holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 0.6% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 181,919 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 1,072 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications makes up 1.1% of Argent Trust Co’s portfolio, making the stock its 22nd biggest position. Argent Trust Co’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $9,775,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. TLW Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. TLW Wealth Management LLC now owns 98,830 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $6,068,000 after buying an additional 335 shares during the last quarter. Financial Consulate Inc. grew its holdings in Verizon Communications by 14.8% during the 4th quarter. Financial Consulate Inc. now owns 10,056 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $617,000 after acquiring an additional 1,294 shares in the last quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp increased its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.3% in the 4th quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 157,404 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $9,665,000 after purchasing an additional 4,967 shares during the last quarter. CFO4Life Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 2.3% in the 4th quarter. CFO4Life Group LLC now owns 7,655 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $470,000 after purchasing an additional 173 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pegasus Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. now owns 53,949 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,312,000 after purchasing an additional 824 shares during the last quarter. 65.98% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several brokerages have issued reports on VZ. Oppenheimer assumed coverage on Verizon Communications in a research note on Friday, April 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $70.00 price objective on the stock. Citigroup upped their price target on Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, April 27th. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on shares of Verizon Communications from $65.00 to $61.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, April 6th. Raymond James boosted their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, April 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $61.00 to $60.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, April 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.44.

Shares of NYSE VZ traded up $0.13 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $54.10. 19,890,395 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 15,030,494. Verizon Communications Inc. has a twelve month low of $48.84 and a twelve month high of $62.22. The firm has a market cap of $223.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.21, a PEG ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $56.54 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.95.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last announced its earnings results on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. The firm had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.37 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.20 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 1st. Investors of record on Monday, April 13th were paid a dividend of $0.615 per share. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.55%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.14%.

Verizon Communications announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 6th that permits the company to buyback 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the cell phone carrier to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.10, for a total value of $613,482.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 27,501 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,570,307.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

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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