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Verizon Just Boosted Its Dividend

Verizon Communications, whose stock has outperformed the broader market in the past year, increased its dividend this week.

Verizon Communications, whose stock has outperformed the broader market in the past year, increased its dividend this week.

Verizon Communications (ticker: VZ), whose stock has outperformed the broader market in the past year, declared a quarterly dividend of 61.50 cents a share on Thursday. That’s a 2% increase from 60.25 cents currently.

It marks the 13th consecutive year in which the large wireless operator has boosted its quarterly dividend. A year ago, the company’s board of directors declared a quarterly disbursement of 60.25 cents a share, up 2% from 59 cents.

The stock yields 4.1%, and it has a one-year return of 13.4%, compared with about 4% for the S&P 500.

Verizon has made similar dividend increases in recent years, typically in the 2% range.

The company, whose operations are capital intensive, has a lot of debt. As of June 30, its long-term debt totaled $104.6 billion against total equity of nearly $58 billion.

But the company is also generating a lot of free cash.

The consensus 2020 estimate for Verizon’s free cash flow is nearly $20 billion, up from $18.2 billion this year, according to FactSet.

The dividend is payable on Nov. 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 10.

The company faces stiff competition in a mature business, but it has acquired various content platforms, such as Yahoo! and AOL.

Write to Lawrence C. Strauss at lawrence.strauss@barrons.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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