The market is looking choppy. With Greece's place in the eurozone still in question, China's stock market crash and bounce, and an interest rate hike all but imminent, volatility may continue for a while.
And when the market begins to look uncertain, dividend stocks can become increasingly attractive to investors. Companies in the telecommunications sector are often among the better dividend-payers of the bunch.
Telecom stocks are less susceptible to market volatility. Companies in the sector provide services that consumers view as necessities rather than luxuries, and firms tend to reinvest less of their profits back into their business than in other industries.
Looking for telecom dividend stocks? Here are seven you may want to consider.
Frontier Communications (FTR - Get Report) offers broadband, voice, video, Internet and other telecommunications services across 28 states. It works with both residential and business customers and is headquartered in Stamford, Conn.
Frontier has an 8.70% dividend yield and paid its last dividend of 10.5 cents on June 30.
While Frontier has consistently paid a quarterly dividend over the years, it has cut the size of its distribution on a couple of occasions. It slashed its payout from 25 cents to 18.75 cents in 2010 and reduced it even further 10 cents in 2012. In December 2014, the company announced plans for a 5% increase to its dividend.
"Increasing the dividend rewards our shareholders, and we have a sustainable payout ratio to support this new rate in 2015," said Maggie Wilderotter, chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Consolidated Communications Holdings
Consolidated Communications provides business and broadband communications services across 11 states. Headquartered in Mattoon, Ill., it has been in business for more than a century.
In June, Consolidated Communications completed the sale of $300 million in senior notes due in 2022, resulting in total gross proceeds of $294.8 million.
CenturyLink (CTL - Get Report) cut its dividend in 2013 from $0.725 to $0.54. It has maintained the payout since then and made its latest quarterly distribution on June 16. The stock has a 7.30% dividend yield.
Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink provides a wide array of communications services to residential, business, government and wholesale customers. It operates more than 55 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia.
In late June, UBS analyst Batya Levi reiterated a buy rating and $39 price target on CenturyLink, citing its long-term strategy and secure dividend as reasoning. Management "reiterated the dividend is safe despite the inflation in cash taxes/payout next year (UBSe 85%)," Levi wrote. "Post-2016, we estimate the payout will return to comfortable levels (60%+) while underlying business trends stabilize."
With a 5.40% yield, AT&T (T - Get Report) is a dividend aristocrat, meaning it has paid and increased dividends every year for more than 25 years. The telecom giant will make its next distribution of 47 cents per share on Aug. 3.
The company was hit with a $100 million fine for capping unlimited data plans in June, and it has been engaged in drawn-out discussions to complete its DTV transaction for quite some time. It has softened its stance on net neutrality rules significantly in hopes of getting the go-ahead for the $49 billion deal.
BCE's New York Stock Exchange-listed stock has a 5.1% dividend yield. The company will make its next payment of 53.96 cents on July 15.
BCE reported first-quarter results in April, including a 12.6% increase in adjusted net earnings to $705 million and a 3.7% jump in earnings per share to $0.84 year-over-year.
Like AT&T, Verizon has gotten into hot water off and on in recent months and has been hit with fines. It agreed to pay $90 million in refunds to customers for charging premium text messages without authorization in May. The company has also had run-ins with the City of New York over the rollout of its Verizon FiOS service.
Verizon announced plans to buy AOL for $4.4 billion in May and completed the takeover in June.
Based on Toronto, Rogers is Canada's largest wireless carrier. It recently received the green light for its takeover of smaller wireless carrier Mobilcity in a deal valued at $465 million. It also sold its discount real estate website Zoocasa for about $350,000.
Rogers reported first-quarter financials on April 20. Consolidated revenue increased 5% during the period; however, operating profit fell by 3%.