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LON100:BT-A, Jun 24, 04:16 UTC

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'Help us speed up Britain's mobiles': O2 chief sends out a powerful message to BT bosses

BT-A VOD +1 more BT-A VOD VOD

'Help us speed up Britain's mobiles... or you may land in court': O2 chief sends out a powerful message to BT bosses. Now, Evans wants the same access for mobile phone operators like O2, Three and Vodafone Media to increase surfing speed. Ironically, O2 was originally part of BT but the telecoms giant had to offload its mobile phone arm back in 2001 as part of a plan to reduce its then gargantuan debt pile. Uncertainty surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU has caused Evans to warn that Britain could miss out on hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment in improving mobile speeds. While the future is certainly 5G, the destiny of O2 is rather less certain.

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thisismoney.co.uk
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Friday, June 22


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BT's Fundamental Value Is Overlooked

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BT Group BT is the incumbent telecom operator in the United Kingdom. In 2016, it bought EE, the country's largest wireless telecom operator, creating the only company that owns fixed-line as well as wireless telephone networks in the U.K. The U.K. has been slow to move to converged services, but we believe this acquisition will lead BT to push convergence similar to leading operators in several other European countries. BT's scale as the U.K.'s largest fixed-line, broadband, and wireless telecom operator provides the company with a narrow economic moat due to cost advantages.

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finance.yahoo.com
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Just how safe is BT’s 7% yield?

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Over the past two years, shares in BT(LSE: BT.A) have plunged by nearly 48%, excluding dividends, a tremendous decline in value for one of the UK’s premier companies. What’s more, over the period, the stock has underperformed the FTSE 100 by a staggering 63%! However, BT now supports one of the most attractive dividend yields in the FTSE 100. At 7.1%, there are only eight other firms in the blue-chip index that offer a higher level of income. But the question is, how safe is this payout? Cash flows are much more representative of a business’s financial position than the profit and loss account, which can be influenced by non-cash adjustments that reflect negatively on its financial situation. For example, for the financial year ending 31 March, BT reported a net income of just over £2bn. However, after stripping out non-cash items, the group reported operating cash flow from operations of £5bn. Further, the group will provide additional payments to the pension scheme if shareholder distributions exceed a threshold, which has been set at dividend growth of 10% a year, and a further £200m per year for share buybacks. As well as these additional pension funding requirements, BT has been pressured to devote £3.7bn to upgrade its mobile and fibre networks over the next few years.

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Thursday, June 21


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BT Group isn’t the dirt-cheap FTSE 100 7%-yielder I’d buy today

BT-A BDEV

Of all the high-yielding stocks currently populating the FTSE 100, in my opinion BT Group(LSE: BT-A) is one of the worst investors could pick to plough the cash into. Although its share price has stabilised just above 200p since I last covered it in May, I wouldn’t bet against the telecoms titan extending its multi-year southwards march as City brokers steadily slash their earnings estimates. Reflecting sustained earnings drops in recent years and a stretched balance sheet, BT was forced to trash its progressive dividend policy and keep the dividend locked at 15.4p per share. Some City analysts are expecting BT to reduce the dividend in response to reduced earnings, and current consensus points to payouts of 15.3p and 15.1p for fiscal 2019 and 2020. However, I think that these rewards are likely to fall much more sharply, thus rendering a yield of 7.1% through to the close of next year irrelevant. As my Foolish colleague Edward Sheldon recently pointed out, investors need to pay particular attention to BT’s massive debts. Concerns over its stretched balance sheet and its colossal pension black hole have been rumbling on for many years now. But with the revenues rot worsening (turnover declined steadily through the last year, and a 3% drop in the fourth quarter compared with growth of 1% in the first three months of fiscal 2018); the business forced to fork out increasingly-large sums to deal with its debt and pension deficit; and recent regulatory decisions affecting Openreach exacerbating its already-bloated capital expenditure bill, BT is in a particularly sticky spot right now. Some would argue that these troubles are baked into the company’s mega-low prospective P/E ratio of 8 times, particularly as BT is making strategic changes that will see it improve its product offerings and the customer experience as well as take down its cost base. I would disagree, though, and reckon there’s still plenty of scope for the firm’s share price to keep on tanking. If I were scanning the FTSE 100 for big dividend payers trading at rock-bottom prices I would be much happier buying into construction colossus Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV).

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BT isn’t the only cheap stock I’d buy for its stonking 7% dividend yield

BT-A

BT isn’t the only cheap stock I’d buy for its stonking 7% dividend yield. Fool.co.uk21 June 2018. When it comes to seeking out stocks offering the best dividend yields, it’s not always the case that bigger is necessarily better. Nevertheless, a recent spate of director buying would suggest that Patterson’s soon-to-be-former colleagues are confident that better times lie ahead for the FTSE 100 behemoth. Although this is unlikely to generate a recovery on its own, the fact that directors are putting their own money on the line is a positive development. Broker Jefferies is bullish on the company, stating that Patterson’s decision to step down later this year after five years in the role — along with the company’s goal to bring faster internet connection to 3m homes by 2020 — would likely ease pressure from regulator Ofcom. Although there can be no guarantee that the company won’t take a knife to the 7% dividend payout at some point (especially if more capital expenditure is required), I’d be surprised if any cut was especially severe. For patient, income-focused investors pursuing the simple but effective ‘receive, reinvest, repeat’ strategy, I continue to believe that BT, at just 8 times earnings, is a bargain worth picking up.

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Wednesday, June 20


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BT hit with fine following millions of nuisance emails

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BT has been fined £77,000 for sending 4.9 million nuisance emails to customers without their permission. An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that emails promoting three charity initiatives – Giving Tuesday, Stand Up to Cancer, and the BT My Donate platform – were sent without consent and were therefore against the law. “Organisations have a responsibility to ensure they are acting within the law,” said Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO. The ICO did accept however that BT had not broken the law deliberately, but did state that it should have taken reasonable steps to prevent the infraction from taking place.

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techradar.com
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UK regulator fines BT Group over spam emails

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The U.K. Information Commissioner's Office has fined a subsidiary of BT Group PLC (BT.A.LN) 77,000 pounds ($101,645) for sending nearly 5 million emails to customers without their consent. The emails, sent between December 2015 and November 2016 to promote charity initiatives, constitute direct marketing and not service messages, the commission said Wednesday. Since recipients didn't give the necessary consent, the emails breached the U.K.'s privacy and electronic-communications regulations, even though the company didn't deliberately break the rules, the ICO said. BT said it is disappointed by the decision and has tightened its data-management procedures since the complaint was first raised in February 2017. "This relates to emails concerning charitable fundraising that were sent to some of our customers in 2015/16. There was no financial benefit to BT, and minimal impact on customers--in fact almost 5 million emails elicited just one complaint," a BT spokesperson said.

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marketwatch.com
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BT hit with £77,000 fine for firing out nearly 5MILLION nuisance emails

BT-A

Fined: BT has been slapped with a £77,000 fine after dishing out nearly 5million nuisance emails to its customers. An investigation was launched after the Information Commissioner's Office received a complaint from a customer who claimed to have received an 'unsolicited direct marketing' email from BT, despite having previously opted out of receiving such emails. We investigated the matter and uncovered the full extent of this activity which shows how important it is for people to report nuisance emails.'. If BT pays the fine by 20 July, it will receive a 20 per cent reduction and only have to pay £61,600. The ICO is not keeping the £77,000 fine, but is sending it to the Consolidated Fund, which is the government's general bank account at the Bank of England.

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thisismoney.co.uk
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Priceless: The cost to BT for bothering you with spam? 1.5 UK pence per email

BT-A

Priceless: The cost to BT for bothering you with spam? Brit telco BT has been ordered to pay £77,000 for sending almost 5 million nuisance emails – equivalent to about 1.5p a mail. BT had argued that, although emails about two of the campaigns – for Giving Tuesday and Stand up to Cancer – were direct marketing, they had only been sent to customers the business deemed had opted in. However, the ICO found that BT included in this category not only people who had explicitly opted in, but also those who had previously failed to specifically opt out. For the third campaign, about the BT "My Donate" platform, the telco claimed these emails were service messages, not direct marketing – and so should be considered outside the remit of PECR. A similar case with Royal Mail saw the postal firm handed a £12,000 fine for 300,000 emails, which is about 4p a mail. If the telco pays by 20 July, it can take advantage of the early-bird discount and hand over £61,600.

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theregister.co.uk
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Is the BT share price heading for a 10% dividend yield?

BT-A

Having fallen by 57% in less than three years, BT(LSE: BT.A) now has a dividend yield of 7.6%. With the stock seemingly in freefall, though, many investors may wonder if an even higher yield could be obtained over the medium term. After all, the company’s problems don’t seem to have gone away. As such, could BT offer income appeal right now? Or should investors look to another high-yielding stock that released a positive update on Wednesday? The company is making huge changes to its business model and management at a time when the quad play sector is also evolving. For example, it’s set to have a new senior management team in place by the end of the year, is in the process of delivering further changes to its structure after a prolonged period of restructuring, while competition within pay-tv, mobile and sports rights continues to increase. As a result, it’s difficult to ascertain how the company will perform over the medium term.

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