Shares in Vodafone (LON:VOD) have been little changed in London in today’s session, ahead of the blue-chip telco’s half-year results tomorrow. The update will come after a business group representing German broadband providers recently called on EU regulators to block the UK group’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s German operations, with Brussels set to rule on the deal by November 27.
As of 13:43 GMT, Vodafone’s share price had added 0.04 percent to 143.98p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.30 percent lower at 7,083.78 points. The telco’s shares have given up more than a third of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 4.7-percent dip in the Footsie.
Vodafone results preview
IG’s market analyst Chris Beauchamp said in a note on Friday that Vodafone is expected to have seen a two-percent drop in revenue for the first half of its financial year, to €22.62 billion, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are expected to have fallen by 4.6 percent to €7.05 billion.
Proactive Investors meanwhile quoted Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, as noting that the market would want to know that the integration of the London-listed telco’s broadband acquisitions in Europe is going well and that data demand growth and emerging market growth continue at a rapid pace.
Macquarie flags dividend cut
Macquarie reaffirmed Vodafone as an ‘underperform’ on Friday, valuing the shares at 125p. WebFG News quoted the analysts as noting that they were expecting the group to lower its forecast for full fiscal year profits and to announce a cut in its dividend.
The broker elaborated that keeping the current payout in place would only “prolong the sustainability discussion,” adding that, in their view, Vodafone’s new boss had only six months to reset the company's policy. Macquarie expects the dividend to be trimmed to €0.08 for fiscal year 2018-19.