In a move that surprised analysts, Verizon Wireless on Monday declared a $7 billion dividend to co-owners Verizon Communications and Vodafone. Lowell McAdam, Verizon Communications' CEO, recently told analysts that the partners might face a "lean" year for the payout. Analysts had surmised that McAdam might use the dividend as leverage for negotiating a buyout of Vodafone's 45% share in the wireless venture. "Despite more contentious commentary from Verizon management [it] just does not appear that withholding Verizon Wireless cash flow from Vodafone is likely to be part of the negotiation," Evercore analyst Jonathan Schildkraut said.

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Reuters, Bloomberg

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