Why BT Group Shares Popped

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Britain's largest fixed-line phone company BT Group (NYSE: BT) climbed 11% today after its quarterly results and outlook impressed Wall Street.

So what: The company's market-topping first quarter -- adjusted EBITDA of 6.2 billion on revenue of 18.25 billion pounds -- reinforces optimism over management's recent cost control and expansion initiatives. While revenue for the quarter remained flat, strong demand for BT's new superfast fibre network, coupled with a full-year dividend hike, gives investors plenty of confidence in its growth prospects and financial health going forward.

Now what: Management now sees free cash flow of about 2.6 billion pounds in 2014/2015 -- up slightly from an earlier forecast of 2.5 billion -- and dividend growth of 10%-15% over the same period. "Our focus on improving efficiency across the business will allow us to continue to deliver strong financial results," said CEO Ian Livingston. "We have a lot more to do but we are now a lot better positioned to do it." Of course, with the stock now up more than 50% from its 52-week lows, I'd wait for some of the optimism to fade before buying into that bullishness.

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Related Tickers

9/26/2016 4:02 PM
BT $25.44 Down -0.42 -1.62%
BT Group CAPS Rating: *****