Verizon boosts dividend, analysts digest results of latest spectrum auction

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Verizon Communications Inc. announced Thursday that it was boosting its quarterly dividend to 62.75 cents a share. This marks an increase of 1.25 cents a share from the previous quarter. Verizon said that this is the 14th straight year of dividend hikes for the company and that the dividend will be payable Nov. 2 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Oct. 9. The announcement comes a day after the Federal Communications Commission announced the winners of a recent CBRS spectrum auction, which saw Verizon as the biggest spender. “Verizon paid up for population density, as the company spent $0.39 per MHz*POP (nearly twice the auction average) to cover 46% of the U.S. population in roughly 5% of the land area,” Citi Research analyst wrote in a note to clients regarding the auction. “Verizon’s spend was in-line with our estimate and we expect the company to bid aggressively in the upcoming C-Band auction in December, with a base case estimate of $20 billion total from Verizon across both auctions,” wrote J.P. Morgan’s Philip Cusick. Verizon shares are about flat in afternoon trading Thursday. The stock has lost 1.5% on the year as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 0.8%.
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