Argent Trust Co Lowers Stock Holdings in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Argent Trust Co cut its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 0.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 181,919 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after selling 1,072 shares during the period. Verizon Communications comprises about 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 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Danda Trouve Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Verizon Communications in the fourth quarter valued at $25,000. Lionsbridge Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Verizon Communications during the 4th quarter worth about $32,000. HighMark Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Verizon Communications in the 4th quarter valued at about $33,000. AlphaCore Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Verizon Communications in the 1st quarter valued at about $35,000. Finally, Permanens Capital L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Verizon Communications during the fourth quarter worth about $37,000. 65.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of VZ traded up $0.13 during mid-day 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. The firm has a market capitalization of $223.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.21, a P/E/G ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.48. Verizon Communications Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $48.84 and a fifty-two week high of $62.22. The business’s 50 day moving average is $56.54 and its two-hundred day moving average is $58.10. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.02.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.22 by $0.04. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 33.26% and a net margin of 14.00%. The company had revenue of $31.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.37 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.20 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

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

Verizon Communications announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 6th that allows the company to repurchase 100,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the cell phone carrier to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on VZ shares. Cowen upgraded shares of Verizon Communications from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, March 2nd. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Verizon Communications from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, April 27th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research note on Monday, April 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their target price on Verizon Communications from $63.00 to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 17th. Finally, SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on Verizon Communications from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.44.

In other news, SVP Anthony T. Skiadas sold 10,744 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on 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 sale, the senior vice president now owns 27,501 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,570,307.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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