Verizon Boosts Quarterly Dividend By 2.6%

Verizon Communications Inc. shareholders will see a higher second-quarter dividend than they expected 2.6 percent more, in fact.

The nations second-largest local phone company, and No. 1 wireless services provider, said on Thursday its dividend will rise to 48.75 cents, an increase of 1.25 cents per share from the previous quarter. The larger payout is a clear indication of the strength of our cash flow, our balance sheet and our company,” Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

This marks the fourth year in a row Verizons board of directors has boosted the companys quarterly dividends in the month of September. Shareholders must be on record as of Oct. 8 for the Nov. 1 distribution. In the first half of 2010, Verizon said it has made almost $2.7 billion in dividend payments. The operator has about 2.7 million shareholders and 2.8 billion shares of common stock outstanding.

Verizons announcement comes a week after CenturyLink, which is buying Qwest Communications International Inc., said it will issue a record dividend. Verizon wont face much wireless competition from the combined CenturyLink-Qwest, but CenturyLink will become the third-largest carrier in the United States serving business markets, a sector Verizon also targets.

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