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AT&T's top rival, $145 billion
Verizon Communications (
VZ), is another name that makes our list of Dow Dogs. Verizon, like AT&T, is a major mobile and fixed-line communications carrier, boasting a landline network that reaches one in four U.S. homes and a mobile phone network that's 100 million customers strong.
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While Verizon Wireless is the biggest phone carrier in the country, VZ isn't the largest mobile carrier stock. The reason? Overseas carrier
VOD) owns 45% of Verizon Wireless -- which means that VZ shareholders "only" lay claim to around 55 million wireless subscribers. A considerable chunk of Verizon's efforts (and its CapEx) have been spent on its wireline networks in recent years. The firm spun off many of its legacy assets to
Frontier Communications (
FTR) in order to bankroll its costly FiOs fiber optic network. FiOs isn't cheap (some estimates put CapEx costs at $4,000 per installed home), but it's the future of residential and commercial connectivity.
By biting the bullet on infrastructure spending now, Verizon gains a dramatically better network than peers at a time when rates are next to zero and most big cash generators are looking for a better way to invest their corporate treasuries.
That's not to say Verizon has been ignoring conventional means of peeling off its cash. The firm currently shells out a 4.04% dividend yield that, while not as hefty as AT&T's, is plenty substantial in its own right. While Verizon's business is capital intense and its debt load is hefty, subscriptions create plenty of cash to keep on rewarding shareholders too.