May 30 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that many U.S. telecommunications companies, traditional wireline companies in particular, are facing industry trends that will ultimately hurt free operating cash flow generation and could make it challenging to maintain their aggressive financial policies, according to a new report published on RatingsDirect earlier today titled "A Matter of Policy: U.S. Telecom Companies Maintain High Dividend Payouts, But For How Long?" "Returning cash to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks and the pressure to satisfy equity investors lessens their ability to pay back debt and maintain or reduce leverage," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Allyn Arden in the report. "These companies may need to adopt more conservative financial policies and reduce leverage to be able to maintain their current ratings down the line," warned Mr. Arden. The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-7280 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site by using the Ratings search box located in the left column at www.standardandpoors.com.