BT Group plc (LON:BT.A) (LSE:BT.A.L) has released a Q3 update to the stock market. Investors will be encouraged by a rise in reported revenue of 32%, but underlying revenue which excludes transit adjusted for the acquisition of EE is down 1.5%. Reported EPS is down 59% and adjusted EPS is down 24%.
Shares in BT are flat at the time of writing, but it has been a tumultuous week for its investors. Today’s investor update has been overshadowed by the results of BT’s investigation into its Italian business, which led to a fall in guidance and a decline in the company’s share price.
Total adjustments relating to the investigation of the Italian business amount to £268 million for prior year errors and a specific item charge of £245 million for changes in accounting estimates.
Elsewhere in BT’s business, Mobile monthly pay net additions were 276,000 in Q3, with a low churn of 1.1%. Retail broadband net additions were 83,000, with retail fibre broadband net additions at 260,000. Openreach has halved missed appointments year on year, while 100% of EE calls are answered in the UK and Ireland.
In the last month, shares in BT have fallen by 18%. That’s a worse performance than the shares of TMT peers Vodafone Group plc (LON:VOD) (LSE:VOD.L), SKY PLC (LON:SKY) (LSE:SKY.L), ITV plc (LON:SKY) (LSE:SKY.L) and Talktalk Telecom Group PLC (LON:TALK) (LSE:TALK.L). Vodafone’s stock price is down 4%, ITV’s shares are flat, SKY’s shares are up 2% and Talktalk shares are down 7%.
In my view, BT has long term investment appeal. Its business is generally performing relatively well, which is good news for its investors. However, I believe the Italian division will continue to dominate its share price performance in the near term. Therefore, it’s not a stock I’m looking to trade via CFD or spread betting accounts. However, in the long run I believe it will record relatively strong investment performance, although Vodafone’s shares remain my top investment pick in the TMT space.