Here’s what’s wrong with Verizon (VZ): The company’s landline business is slowly shrinking; the U.S. wireless market, which is supposed to make up for the drop in land line phones, is nearing saturation; and the company, which already carries a huge load of debt, plans to spend $23 billion in 2009 and 2010 to build out its fiber optic network. But while these worries are reasonable, they are overblown. The company’s plan to replace the revenue from its departing landline customers by encouraging remaining customers to upgrade to higher margin data, high speed Internet, and video services is working. The wireless market in the United States is reaching saturation in numbers but there’s still room to take market share from Sprint Nextel (S), a fading #2, and to upgrade customers to new smart phones. And Verizon’s build out of it’s fiber network WHAT? seems to be worth it. In the second quarter Verizon added 303,000 net FIOS Internet customers and 300,000 FIOS Television customers. On average FIOS customers pay a monthly bill of $135, about twice the bill for the average Verizon customer. In conclusion, I think the worries are overstated, the price is overly depressed, and the yield is a bargain. The yield as of October 14, 2009 was 6.6%
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