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Vodafone share price surges with Barclays still bullish

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Vodafone’s (LON:VOD) share price has climbed higher in London in today’s session as Barclays reiterated its bullish rating on the telecom giant. Proactive Investors quoted the analysts as pointing to near-term catalysts to help unlock the discount to their price target on the stock.

As of 14:25 BST, Vodafone’s share price had added 1.52 percent to 133.42p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.01 percent higher at 7,610.32 points. The telco’s shares have given up just under 29 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 0.5-percent gain in the Footsie.

Barclays ‘overweight’ on Vodafone

Barclays reaffirmed its ‘overweight’ stance on Vodafone today, with a price target of 200p on the shares. Proactive Investors quoted the broker as commenting that still saw “a clear value opportunity, and potentially near-term catalysts to help unlock the discount to our 200p price target, with hopefully no operational deterioration in 1Q”.

Among those near-term catalysts is Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable networks in Germany and eastern Europe, which Barclays expects to complete later this month. Updating their forecasts, the broker reckons that the deal will add €1.7 billion to this year’s underlying earnings (EBITDA) and €200 million to free cash flow.

Barclays’ comments come after news emerged last week that the FTSE 100 group was set to secure EU antitrust approval for the Liberty deal, having offered concessions to assuage the European Commission’s competition concerns.

Other analysts on blue-chip telco

JPMorgan Chase & Co, which is bullish on the FTSE 100 telecom group with a ‘buy’ rating, set a target of 209p on the Vodafone share price today. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average valuation of 186.22p.

Vodafone is scheduled to update investors on its quarterly performance on July 26.

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