Sector movers: Vodafone and BT lift telecoms higher
Thu 13 Sep 2012
LONDON (SHARECAST) - The telecoms sectors were performing well on Thursday with heavyweights Vodafone and BT Group providing a lift in afternoon trade.
Mobile phone group Vodafone was making decent gains in the mobile telecoms sector, one day after the stock was hit with concerns about its US joint venture Verizon Wireless. Verizon last week announced a 3% increase in its quarterly dividend but failed to mention its intentions for Verizon Wireless, leading some to think that it was freezing out Vodafone following the $4.5bn special dividend paid last year.
The Tempus column in The Times said this morning: "Frankly, this is implausible for several reasons, even though Verizon isn’t saying much. First, it should need the dividend flow from the joint venture to fund that payment to its own shareholders. Second, it has denied any such intention before," writes the column's Martin Waller.
He said that the 6% yield (when excluding a Verizon venture dividend) is a good enough reason to hold the shares and some clarification on the dividend issue should see them rise again.
Meanwhile, phone and broadband firm BT was lifting the fixed line telecoms sector higher, extending gains yesterday after announcing yesterday a “ground-breaking” £152m deal for a range of exclusive live rights for Premiership Rugby from next season onwards.
Heading the other way were the retailers after High Street giant Next sank nearly 8% on a gloomy trading outlook.
Investors showed the retailer little mercy, despite first half results coming in ahead of some analysts' expectations. The company said revenue was up 4.8% to £1.64bn during the period and profits were up 10.2% to £251m, driven by online retailing and new stores opening.
However, Next said it had seen disappointing sales in August and early September and remained cautious on the outlook.
Meanwhile, Home Retail was out of favour after saying that its DIY chain Homebase had continued to be hit hard by bad weather and a reluctance on the part of consumers to buy big ticket items.
Top performing sectors so far today
Mobile Telecommunications 4,134.77 +2.01%
Forestry & Paper 6,489.74 +1.60%
Fixed Line Telecommunications 2,783.99 +1.17%
Electricity 8,619.78 +1.13%
Health Care Equipment & Services 3,879.28 +0.92%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
General Retailers 1,806.33 -2.28%
Industrial Metals & Mining 2,776.66 -2.25%
Personal Goods 16,759.87 -1.33%
Aerospace and Defence 3,894.80 -0.97%
Chemicals 8,841.56 -0.77%