Barclays continues to see BT Group (LON:BT.A) as an ‘equal weight,’ arguing that while the telco’s valuation provides a compelling argument to buy the shares, the group’s consumer division is under pressure and there is uncertainty over the planned roll out of fibre broadband, Proactive Investors reports. The comments came after the former telecom monopoly updated investors on its first-quarter performance last week, posting a fall in revenue and profits.
BT’s share price has been subdued in London this Monday, having given up 1.31 percent to 183.58p as of 14:35 BST. The stock, however, is outperforming the broader market selloff which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index give up 1.99 percent to 7,259.61 points so far today. The group’s shares have lost more than 21 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 5.4-percent fall in the Footsie.
Barclays sees BT as ‘equal weight’
Barclays reaffirmed BT as an ‘equal weight’ today, with a share price target of 240p. Proactive Investors quoted the broker as commenting that the most compelling argument for buying shares in the blue-chip telco appeared to be valuation.
“With the stock on an estimated 8%+ dividend yield and 5.5% unlevered free cash flow yield, this appears compelling,” the analysts elaborated, adding, however, that there was “clear pressure in consumer, which threatens future earnings power, and the company cannot/will not give clarity on the outlook for the fibre to the home (FTTH) rollout and associated capital expenditure/dividend”.
“As such the valuation argument is unlikely to play out near term, in our view,” Barclays pointed out.
Other analysts on telecom group
UBS reaffirmed the former telecom monopoly as a ‘neutral’ today, without specifying a target on the BT share price. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average valuation of 270.50p.