Shares of France Telecom
The catalyst for this breather came from the company's first-half report. Total sales, including wireline operations in France as well as mobile networks under the global Orange brand, stayed flat year over year at $26.8 billion. Net income fell 10% to $2.4 billion. Adjusting for currency exchange fluctuations and the performance of France Telecom's cash flow hedges, the company scored 42% higher "total comprehensive income," roughly translated as non-GAAP earnings.
These figures are surprisingly strong, considering the brutal low-cost competition the company faces in France these days. France Telecom underscored its commitment to rolling out fast 4G data networks and also announced a $0.71 dividend per share to be paid in September. At today's prices, the payouts work out to a 12.8% yield.
The entire mobile networks industry suffered last week when Telefonica
To some degree, I'm sad to see the low share prices go away -- that juicy dividend buys more shares when the stock is stupidly cheap! But it's always good, and far more important, to see the company reporting solid health. This stock will be around and paying massive dividends for many years and maybe even decades to come.
France Telecom is my personal dividend stock of choice because it combines spectacular payouts with the potential for fantastic growth. But The Fool has your back if you'd prefer solid dividends planted in all-American soil. This free report on nine rock-solid dividend stocks will help you build wealth and sleep at night. Click here to get your copy right now, while it's still free.