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.