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Telecom Dividend Cash Bonanza – Landline Customers Drop, But Stockholder Payouts Rise

Phillip Dampier February 10, 2011 AT&T, Bell (Canada), Frontier, Qwest, Rural Broadband No Comments

The telephone landline business is hardly a growth industry, as an average of 5-7 percent of customers disconnect their home phone service every quarter, but you wouldn’t know that from the dividends being paid to stockholders.

From AT&T, Bell Canada, Frontier to Qwest — the companies that speak in terms of keeping their customer defection rates down are paying dividends that often exceed earnings.

Among the worst of all — Frontier Communications, whose outsized dividend is expected to reach 75 cents a share.  That, despite the fact analysts predict the phone company will earn only 40 cents a share or so this year.

Where do these phone companies expect to make their money?  Their broadband and wireless divisions.  AT&T and Bell Canada are able to cover landline losses with enhanced profits from their IPTV services like U-verse and Fibe.  Frontier and Qwest expect to survive on providing cheap-to-deploy DSL service in rural areas avoided by cable operators.

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  • JayS: They will upgrade 47,000 customers for $ 20,000,000; 20,000,000/47,000 = $426/per customer. That is per customer, not per premises passing (custom...
  • Lee: Phone line dead 4 times in last 2 months. Third time tech said was cut at neighbors yard pedestal. Fourth time this Sunday I went to neighbors to chec...
  • Me: well well well..cutting all their services..getting antenna..all else is on my cell...
  • Matthew H Mosher: Sure, but it's pretty easy to crap on NY when my wife a d I pays these ridiculous tax rates so that MY KIDS can't get broadband. Meanwhile it runs fib...
  • Lee: It would be interesting to see the age cohort distribution of stock owners this analyst champions. I suspect the majority are not in the 20 to 30 rang...
  • Josh: Ugh. If I used Comcast for TV I'd be using it with my TiVo...never with their box. And I always figured the "Xfinity" thing was just to trick people...
  • Josh: LOL! Sounds like basically "we're a huge corporation, so you should do this for us for free". At least hopefully they'll pay now... Of course this ...
  • goonierag: I am sick of wallstreet the cable companies and telco's gouging the people and of here this s**t from their fans. The internet was developed by the ...
  • FredH: Like cable company CEOs need to be told to raise prices by some a-hole Wall Street analyst....
  • Roger W: Go ahead. Raise it to $90. I dare you. I guarantee you it will be the last day I subscribe to cable service. That'll be your loss....
  • FredH: Charter/Spectrum is rapidly catching Comcast in the "race to the bottom"....
  • Phillip Dampier: Yeah, because Charter is hurting so much it cannot afford to extend service itself so it wants welfare to do it. Keep in mind most techs have no clue...

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