First Merchants Corp Has $5.95 Million Stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

First Merchants Corp raised its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) by 181.5% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 120,219 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock after acquiring an additional 77,513 shares during the quarter. Verizon Communications makes up 1.0% of First Merchants Corp’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 25th biggest holding. First Merchants Corp’s holdings in Verizon Communications were worth $5,949,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bath Savings Trust Co lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 23.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 35,367 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,580,000 after purchasing an additional 6,641 shares during the last quarter. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. now owns 32,265 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,441,000 after purchasing an additional 362 shares during the last quarter. Private Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 19.4% in the 2nd quarter. Private Asset Management Inc. now owns 26,199 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $1,170,000 after purchasing an additional 4,255 shares during the last quarter. DnB Asset Management AS lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 118.4% in the 2nd quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 1,244,988 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $55,601,000 after purchasing an additional 674,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First PREMIER Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Verizon Communications by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 15,693 shares of the cell phone carrier’s stock valued at $701,000 after purchasing an additional 577 shares during the last quarter. 63.21% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on VZ. Moffett Nathanson reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Cowen reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of Verizon Communications in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Verizon Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.98.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) opened at $52.11 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $212,580.00, a P/E ratio of 13.36, a PEG ratio of 4.80 and a beta of 0.57. Verizon Communications Inc. has a one year low of $42.80 and a one year high of $53.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.05, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a current ratio of 1.07.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98. The business had revenue of $31.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.45 billion. Verizon Communications had a return on equity of 58.66% and a net margin of 12.80%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.01 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Verizon Communications Inc. will post 3.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. Verizon Communications’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 60.51%.

In other news, EVP Craig L. Silliman sold 610 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.41, for a total transaction of $28,920.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 3,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $154,983.29. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.13% of the company’s stock.

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About Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States.

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

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