Lets face it, shares for Telecom NZ Ltd [TEL.NZX] have been a pig for years but especially for the last year where they have traded around the 2 dollar mark and touched $1.78 last June.
For the last 6 weeks shares have been trading below 2 bucks but over the last 5 trading days shares have shot from $1.95 to finish up 10c yesterday at $2.15 - a 10% rise. This is on 4 pieces of news out over the last week ( 1, 2, 3, 4 ) mostly related to taxpayer funded broadband.
The market seems excited by the prospects for Telecom that subsidised broadband might bring but the payback for investment by the taxpayer and by the company itself is uncertain especially given the low speeds the company indicate their new fibre might bring and the restrictions and frustrations that will bring for customers as they realise they will not be able to do even a fraction of the things their mates overseas have been able to do for a decade or more already and that future speeds for global internet speeds (sans NZ) will be hundreds of times faster than ours.
Market watchers are ignoring the bungles the company has mismanaged with the introduction of new services and technology in the past so I remain skeptical of share price increases based on the possibility that the fibre roll-out will bear some positive fruit.
With a 52 week high of $2.33 reached in February the share price looks like getting overcooked to me and investors wishing to take a punt on anything that may come out of the fibre network rollout may want to temper their excitement because any additional revenue coming from it is many years away.
Until then performance for the company is likely to be more along the lines of weakening revenue, smaller profits and cost cutting.
Buy below 2 bucks on the inevitable pullback.
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c Share Investor 2011
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