After accounting for the 125M shares remaining under its March 2013 authorization, AT&T (T +0.7%) is free to buy back up to 425M shares (~8% of outstanding shares). (PR)
Ma Bell has slowed down its once-torrid buyback pace in recent quarters: It spent $1.9B on buybacks in Q4, even with Q3 but down from $3.3B in Q2 and $5.9B in Q1.
Though AT&T has attributed its slowed buyback pace to network investments, softening free cash flow could also be a factor. FCF is expected to fall to $11B in 2014 from 2013's $13.6B and 2012's $19.5B. Capex is expected to total $21B, down slightly from 2013's $21.2B and up from 2012's $19.7B.
AT&T's dividend yield is currently at 5.2%. The carrier says it expects to maintain a net-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA ratio in the 1.8 range or lower.