Telecom giant AT&T Inc. (
) on Wednesday announced a small raise to its quarterly dividend
payout and unveiled plans for a new $14 billion investment to
upgrade its wireless and wireline broadband network operations.
The Dallas-based company lifted its dividend by 2.3%, marking
the 29th consecutive yearly dividend increase. The new dividend of
45 cents per share (up from 44 cents) will be paid on Feb. 1, 2013
with an ex-dividend date of Jan. 8, 2013.
CEO Randall Stephenson commented, "Given our confidence in our
industry and in our future, today we increased our quarterly
dividend for the 29th straight year. I'm confident we can continue
to deliver for our owners as we invest to position AT&T for
stronger growth in the years ahead."
The investment Stephenson referred to is a new $14 billion plan
to expand and enhance AT&T's wireless and wireline broadband
networks. Dubbed "Project Velocity IP (
)," the plan is aimed at improving Internet speed, allowing for
additional services, and boosting overall broadband revenue.
The company commented, "This is a major commitment to invest in
21st Century communications infrastructure for the United States
and bring high-speed Internet connectivity - 4G LTE mobile and
wireline IP broadband - to millions more Americans. We have the
opportunity to improve AT&T's revenue growth and cost structure
for years to come, and create substantial value for
AT&T shares fell 80 cents, or -2.3%, in premarket trading
The Bottom Line
Shares of AT&T (
) will now have a 5.17% dividend yield, based on the higher
dividend payout and last night's closing stock price of $34.80. We
have been recommending shares of AT&T (
) since Mar.12, 2009, when the stock was trading at $23.35.
AT&T Inc. (
) is a "Recommended" dividend stock, holding a Dividend.com DARS™
Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the
Best Dividend Stocks
, as well as a detailed explanation of
our ratings system here
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