Verizon (VZ) recently made big headlines with news that it would buy out the remaining stake of Verizon Wireless from European telecom Vodafone (VOD). Shares have taken a pounding as a result, in part because the big-ticket deal is going to deploy capital that could be spent in other ways that include upgrading the network or delivering bigger dividends to shareholders.
But that said, it’s not like Verizon is on the brink or that it is somehow in a cash crunch. VZ boasted $5.7 billion in cash and investments in its last earnings report, and dividends were projected to take up about 66% of fiscal 2014 earnings before the Vodafone buyout and its change to the balance sheet.
There are few things that are certain on Wall Street, but the virtual duopoly of Verizon and AT&T (T) are pretty darn close to guaranteed. Considering the need for connectivity for workers and consumers alike, Verizon is perhaps one of the most solid bets a long-term investor can make in 2013.