NEW YORK Verizon Wireless dividend payments may be lean going forward as the venture of Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L) conserves cash to pay down debt and prepare for a spectrum auction, a top Verizon Communications executive said on Tuesday.
Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told analysts during an investor conference the wireless venture would use cash to pay down $5 billion in debt due at the end of this year and early next year.
It also plans to prepare for a U.S. auction of wireless airwaves that could take place as soon as 2014, Shammo said. He spoke a day after Verizon Wireless announced a $7 billion dividend that compared to $18.5 billion of payouts made in two installments in 2012.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)