Current Dividend Yield: 4.5%
Performance So Far in 2012: +15%
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has been labeled a sleepy telecom stock. Except that since this spring, VZ shares popped significantly — some 23% in six months!
Part of the demand for shares is, obviously, the dividend. Verizon is one of the most secure plays out there since it remains the leading wireless telecom provider in the U.S. by subscriptions and gets 50% of its revenue from wireless subscribers. The company also is one of the top high-speed Internet providers in America via its FiOS fiber optic network. As the world becomes increasingly wired, it’s more important than ever for companies like Verizon to be involved with the operations of businesses and the lives of regular Americans.
This provides a very stable revenue stream that accounts for huge dividends. Like many low-risk dividend stocks, this is a double-edged sword because there might not be any huge growth opportunities for the entrenched telecom. But strong cash flow generation and the lack of any real competition from anyone other than AT&T (NYSE:T) means this telecom stock is a stalwart that’s here to stay.
In the short-term, things are also looking bright thanks to Verizon’s relatively new Share Everything plan boosting earnings. This week, the telecom stock posted a massive number of new devices on its network, boosted by Share Everything plan’s debut this summer that made it cheaper for households to add wireless service to tablets and laptops. Specifically, Verizon Wireless added a net 1.5 million devices — proving this company knows how to remain dominant in a mobile age even if cable TV and phone are fading technologies.