To the chagrin of telecom equipment firms, Verizon (VZ +0.9%) is staying frugal with its capex: after spending $16.2B in 2012 (down slightly Y/Y in spite of a 4.5% revenue gain), the carrier forecasts 2013 capex will be flat Y/Y. Big Red also says it wants to lower wireless expenses by $2B, and forecasts a 2013 wireless EBITDA margin of 49%-50% (up from 2012's 46.6%). Lower smartphone subsidies are a goal (possibly bad news for Apple and Samsung), and stock buybacks aren't ruled out - a heavy debt load and cash distributions to Vodafone limit Verizon's flexibility here. (more)
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