Verizon's Seidenberg Stays Mum on Microsoft Move
The tech talk Friday was about Microsoft’s move to steal Google’s potential deal with Verizon Communications. The Wall Street Journal reported that Verizon’s in talks with both companies to find a default search engine for its wireless phones. But when pressed during an interview with Cramer, CEO Ivan Seidenberg wouldn’t say which way he was leaning.
“We’re going to go [with the] one that produces the best long-term value over time,” Seidenberg told Mad Money, saying only that a decision was coming “soon.”
“We’re still working our way through that,” he said. “But you can rest assured that our shareholders will be, I think, well rewarded for whatever deal that we come up with.”
Neither would the CEO speculate on how much money a deal with either Google or Microsoft would bring in.
“A lot,” he said. “Why don’t we just leave it at that, and we’ll surprise everybody with the success of the program.”
Regardless of how the deal works out, business seems to be good at Verizon , one of Cramer's Invest in America names. The company just boosted its dividend by 7%. As regular Mad Money viewers know, Cramer’s been recommending high-yielding stocks as a remedy for this tough market, so VZ and its safe payout work here. Seidenberg called the decision to increase the dividend a sign of confidence in his business and a reward to shareholders who’ve invested in the company.
Verizon is growing as well, adding 10 million wireless customers to the 70 million it already has through a purchase of Alltel. The company’s coverage area will now expand to include part of the Southeast, Midwest and Southwestern U.S.
And despite negative talk from analysts, FiOS, Verizon’s fiber optic cable, phone and internet service, has “enormous” potential over the next 10 to 20 years. Seidenberg said, “The TV experience will be redefined” to include 3-D and other technologies, and analysts seem to be missing this.
A strong company with a newly increased dividend?
“This is the kind of stock,” Cramer said, “that will get you through this kind of period.”
Watch Cramer’s interview with Ivan Seidenberg for more and to find out what the CEO thinks is the next big thing in mobile phones.
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