Verizon targets higher EBITDA margin for 2014

Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:52pm EST

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc said it was targeting a higher adjusted EBITDA margin and 4 percent revenue growth for 2014 after it completed the acquisition of Vodafone Group's 45 percent stake in their Verizon Wireless joint venture.

The margin on adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was 34.9 percent in 2013, while revenue growth was 4.1 percent.

Shareholders of Vodafone and Verizon approved the $130 billion takeover in January, paving the way for the third-biggest deal in corporate history.

Verizon said on Monday it expected to reduce debt and fund network investments this year with continued strong cash flows, which would also support its dividend policy.

Evercore Partners analyst Jonathan Schildkraut said Verizon's equipment instalment plans, which allow customers to upgrade to new phones and pay for them in instalments, could lead to better EBITDA margins, but at the expense of short-term cash flows.

Verizon, which had net debt of $40.1 billion as of Dec. 31, 2013, raised its quarterly dividend by 2.9 percent to 53 cents per share in September and said that providing a strong dividend would remain a priority.

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