Verizon CFO Says: "We're Not Worth As Much As You Think"
In what I see as one of the more delicious ironies of the month, the Verizon Communications CFO, Doreen Toben, basically said that analysts have ‘overvalued’ the company’s wireless subsidiary. Now when was the last time you heard a CxO say their company is worth less than what people think? The comments came after Verizon was courting Vodafone to buy out the latter’s minority stake in VZW. Apparently, analysts and press were bandying about $38-50 billion as the possible price, and so the CFO is trying to cool down the hysteria by assuring the market that 45% of VZW is not worth that much. Just after the AT&T+BellSouth merger, when rumors of this buyback were rekindled, I wrote that I don’t see the value for Verizon in buying Vodafone’s 45%, and that the Billions would be better spent on upgrading fiber and other infrastructure. Clearly Verizon disagrees with me in general, but there are limits to what they will pay.