Sandy Spring Bank Sells 6,539 Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Sandy Spring Bank trimmed its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZFree Report) by 4.8% during the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 130,233 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 6,539 shares during the period. Sandy Spring Bank’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $4,910,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 351,625,025 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $11,396,167,000 after acquiring an additional 930,367 shares in the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Verizon Communications by 4.8% during the 3rd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 98,027,542 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock worth $3,151,714,000 after purchasing an additional 4,527,387 shares during the last quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in Verizon Communications by 88,532.0% during the fourth quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 79,084,569 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $3,115,932,000 after purchasing an additional 78,995,341 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in Verizon Communications by 21.4% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 67,976,459 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $2,678,273,000 after purchasing an additional 11,987,691 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter worth about $1,829,675,000. Institutional investors own 62.06% of the company’s stock.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on VZ shares. Redburn Atlantic upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $33.00 to $39.00 in a report on Friday, March 22nd. KeyCorp lifted their price target on shares of Verizon Communications from $45.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Wolfe Research raised Verizon Communications from a “peer perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $46.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Raymond James boosted their target price on Verizon Communications from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company increased their price target on Verizon Communications from $40.00 to $44.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $44.50.

View Our Latest Analysis on Verizon Communications

Insider Activity

In other Verizon Communications news, CEO Kyle Malady sold 24,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.80, for a total value of $979,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 35,201 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,436,200.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.02% of the company’s stock.

Verizon Communications Price Performance

Shares of NYSE VZ opened at $40.15 on Friday. Verizon Communications Inc. has a 52 week low of $30.14 and a 52 week high of $43.42. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.47. The firm has a market cap of $168.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.55, a P/E/G ratio of 3.31 and a beta of 0.41. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $40.65 and its 200 day moving average price is $37.93.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZGet Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The cell phone carrier reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.08. Verizon Communications had a net margin of 8.67% and a return on equity of 20.71%. The business had revenue of $35.10 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.60 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.19 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.58 earnings per share for the current year.

Verizon Communications Dividend Announcement

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.665 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $2.66 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.63%. Verizon Communications’s payout ratio is currently 96.38%.

About Verizon Communications

(Free Report)

Verizon Communications Inc, through its subsidiaries, engages in the provision of communications, technology, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental entities worldwide. It operates in two segments, Verizon Consumer Group (Consumer) and Verizon Business Group (Business).

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

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