Embarq ups dividend 10%, buys back stock

Independent telco Embarq announced it will increase its stock dividend by about 10% and also will buy back about $500 million in shares. That's a similar, though more condensed version of the recipe AT&T used to gain some Wall Street love late last year. Embarq could use the positive attention: the company's stock price is down about 7% just in the last month, after briefly holding "darling" status last spring.

In addition, cable TV company Comcast claimed this week to over-take Embarq has the fourth largest voice provider in terms of customer base. Embarq also just saw its big-name CEO Dan Hesse depart to lead Sprint Nextel, and has to deal with a lingering spat with retirees over its decision to rescind health benefits for former employees who now qualify for Medicare.

For more:
- read this story in The Kansas City Star
- read our Top Service Provider special report on Embarq

Related articles:
- Hesse announced his departure from Embarq last month
- Retirees sue Embarq for benefits

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