|Barrons / comments on AT&T (today) ...........................................................|
(This was in : Yes, You Can Retire on Dividends. 10 Stocks to Build an Income Stream for the Long Haul. )
AT&T (T) is one of the more-discussed stocks among dividend investors, as its yield, at about 7%, is much higher than most U.S companies. A concern that many investors have is the company’s hefty debt load.
Such a high yield can be a reason for investors to exit, but the entertainment, tech, and telecom conglomerate has a long history of paying a dividend -- it’s a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats -- and some analysts like its content library and foray into streaming.
Company executives are showing their support for the dividend. In a March 12 release outlining the company’s strategy and financial outlook, CEO John Stankey said in part that AT&T is “committed to sustaining the dividend at current levels and utilizing cash after dividends to reduce debt.” Chief Financial Officer John Stephens expressed a similar commitment to the dividend at a conference on March 8. “With $26 billion of free cash flow after [capital expenditure], there’s plenty of money to pay out the dividend,” he said.
The last time the company declared a quarterly dividend increase occurred in December 2019, more than a year ago, boosting it by a penny, to 52 cents a share. But AT&T looks like it’s on course to at least sustain the dividend.