Current Dividend Yield: 4.6%
Performance So Far in 2012: +11%
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has thrived in 2012, with gains of nearly 11% just a couple percentage points shy of the S&P 500’s performance — not bad for a “sleepy” telecom stock.
A healthy dividend was partly to thank for propelling VZ shares through most of 2012, as income was all the rage. Verizon is the leading wireless telecom provider in the U.S. by subscriptions and gets 50% of its revenue from wireless subscribers. Plus, it’s also a top-tier high-speed Internet provider — an ever-important role as the country continues to hurtle through the digital revolution.
In one way, that’s great. Verizon essentially is a utility stock of sorts, boasting a very stable revenue stream that helps fund those big, fat dividend checks. And while Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile do provide some pressure on the low-price side, there’s little to challenge its virtual duopoly alongside AT&T (NYSE:T).
On the other side, there’s not a ton of room for growth, as the country is more or less at wireless saturation.
That’s not to say VZ is standing still. Verizon’s Share Everything plan has helped the company tack on a number of new devices on its network — a net 1.5 million devices, to be exact — which helped put a jolt into earnings. Sales of Apple iPhones also helped grease the wheels. And more recently, Verizon and partner Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR) unveiled Redbox Instant, which is meant to compete with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) in the streaming video space.
Again, not bad for a sleepy telecom stock.