Analysts at Macquarie believe that BT Group’s (LON:BT.A) new chief executive could win over wary investors, WebFG News reports. The comments came after the former telecoms monopoly appointed Worldpay’s (LON:WPG) outgoing boss Philip Jansen as its new chief executive, to replace Gavin Patterson who announced his departure earlier this year following investor backlash.
BT’s share price has fallen into negative territory in today’s session, having given up 4.39 percent to 230.00p as of 14:33 BST. The shares are underperforming the broader market selloff, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 1.43 percent lower at 6,904.01 points.
Macquarie weighs in on new boss
WebFG News quoted Macquarie analyst Guy Peddy as commenting that BT had committed to the thematic path for the sector which the broker has “been articulating for much of the decade”.
“BT’s scale offers a competitive advantage in the network-intensive outlook for the sector,” he pointed out, adding that a new chief executive had “the ability to win back investor confidence”. The analyst conceded, however, that BT was a difficult company to manage and outlined what Jansen’s immediate agenda should be.
Peddy argues that cutting the dividend should be a priority, “to remove the continuous headache and debate over its sustainability”. The analyst reckons other areas of focus should include pushing 5G technology, investing in IT, accelerating the move to IP, and avoiding any further separation of BT’s network business Openreach.
Other analysts on blue-chip telco
UBS reaffirmed BT as a ‘neutral’ today, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip telecoms group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 273.13p.
BT is scheduled to update investors on its second-quarter results on November 1.