Few dividend stocks have the cult-like following that AT&T (NYSE:T) does. And this is understandable, given the company's 5.2% yield and its impressive feat of raising dividend payments annually for the past 30 years. With that in mind, how safe is AT&T's dividend today and what does the future hold for its payout with Verizon (NYSE:VZ) waiting in the wings to steal valuable subscribers?

In the included video, Fool Tech and Telecom Analyst Nathan Hamilton discusses two things that investors should pay attention to when investing in AT&T stock -- dividend safety and room for dividend increases.

While AT&T, on average, has paid out a higher proportion of free cash flow in dividends since 2011 than Verizon -- 65% versus  34%, respectively -- it's dividend is secure, and the company is investing aggressively to cater to data-hungry mobile users. Perhaps more importantly, Nathan discusses how AT&T's massive investments will taper off to historical levels, leaving more cash on the table for investors now, and setting the stage for subscriber growth and greater dividend-friendly cash flows. 

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Nathan Hamilton owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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