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Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L)

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
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125.68+1.32 (+1.06%)
At close: 4:38PM GMT
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Previous close124.36
Bid125.02 x 0
Ask125.04 x 0
Day's range123.47 - 125.68
52-week range1.03 - 195.65
Avg. volume74,374,520
Market cap33.723B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.66
PE ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-28.20
Earnings date16 Nov 2020
Forward dividend & yield0.08 (6.43%)
Ex-dividend date17 Dec 2020
1y target est2.01
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  • U.K. Looks at Huawei Install Ban Next Year to Placate Hawks

    U.K. Looks at Huawei Install Ban Next Year to Placate Hawks

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. is considering a ban on the installation of Huawei Technologies Co. 5G equipment as soon as next year to appease hawks pushing for tighter restrictions on the Chinese network equipment maker, according to people familiar with the matter.Legislators from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party are demanding the stricter rules as part of the price for backing telecommunications security legislation due in parliament next week.The draft law will give parliament a chance to force carriers to replace 5G equipment well before a blanket ban is enforced in 2027. Any further installations of Huawei equipment by carriers would carry fines of as much as 10% of sales or 100,000 pounds a day ($133,000).The government already set limits on telecom companies including BT Group Plc, Vodafone Group Plc and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Three UK buying gear from Huawei that are set to kick in after December. However, there are no rules yet barring the companies from using Huawei equipment they already bought but haven’t yet installed.Carriers have been stockpiling parts made by Huawei while sourcing alternatives. Stopping them using those stockpiled parts could increase their costs as they would be forced to speed up the overhaul of their networks, according to people familiar with phone companies’ plans.Under the new proposal, that ban could come into force as soon as September next year, the people said, asking for anonymity as the talks are confidential.A representative for the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport had no immediate comment.“We will be working through the details of any planned rules restricting procurement or deployment of Huawei equipment,” said a BT spokesman. “We would encourage the Government to continue to take balanced and evidence-based decisions.”In January, the U.K. granted Huawei a limited role in 5G networks, leading to a parliamentary rebellion. Prime Minister Boris Johnson reversed his position in July, after U.S. sanctions introduced in May affected Huawei’s supply chain. British officials said the change meant they were no longer able to guarantee the security of the Shenzhen company’s products.The latest proposals may not go far enough for some lawmakers, who are calling for the government to consider forcing carriers to remove Huawei equipment from their 5G networks earlier than the current 2027 plan.The current draft of the telecommunications bill grants the government broad powers to enforce a moratorium against Huawei, but leaves important details to be nailed down later on and doesn’t mention Huawei by name, angering potential Conservative rebels who want more specific commitments.Lawmakers are set to debate the bill next week. The draft legislation proposes fines of as much as 10% of sales or 100,000 pounds a day ($133,000) for violations, which will apply to carriers including BT, Vodafone and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Three UK.The U.S. has campaigned for its allies to exclude Huawei on the grounds its proximity to China’s government constitutes an unacceptable security risk, which the company has denied.Without Huawei, U.K. mobile networks will lean heavily on its Nordic rivals Nokia Oyj and Ericsson AB. The government is due to publish more details about diversifying the U.K. 5G supply chain in the next few weeks.(Updates with detail in third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Europe’s Best Telecoms Stock Is a Real Estate Company

    Europe’s Best Telecoms Stock Is a Real Estate Company

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Pop quiz: What are at least 50 feet tall, within 10 miles of where you are now and have generated almost 23 billion euros in market value over the past five years?The answer: cell towers. Since 2015, towers owner Cellnex Telecom SA has seen its stock climb 298%. In that same period, the Stoxx Europe 600 Telecom Index has fallen 0.8%. The company’s performance has prompted envious glances from the region’s mobile carriers. Yet those eager to replicate its success face some obstacles.Take Vodafone Group Plc. The British company is reportedly planning to list its own Vantage Towers unit in Frankfurt early next year. Bloomberg News reported it’s seeking to raise about 4 billion euros in a deal that could value the business at around 20 billion euros including debt. The logic is straightforward if you consider the anticipated rise of 5G networks. Towers companies are essentially in the real estate business: They lease space to mobile carriers to install their antennae. As carriers provide greater 5G connectivity, they will require more antennae and therefore more tower space. Rather than splash out to build or buy more of their own towers, carriers will increasingly share them.Vantage currently averages 1.37 antennae per tower and aims to boost that to more than 1.5 apiece in the “medium term.” Cellnex currently averages 1.58 customers. The occupancy rate is only likely to increase.Even as denser networks bode well for the tower business, Vantage is likely to trade at a discount to Cellnex. The reason is Vodafone itself. While there are advantages to having a reliable anchor tenant for one’s property, Vodafone’s controlling stake (it is likely to retain some 75% of the stock) may also make it difficult to imitate Cellnex’s growth trajectory and valuation if it restricts opportunities.Consider Inwit, the towers unit of Telecom Italia SpA, into which Vodafone folded its own Italian towers in March and now holds a 33% stake. Its enterprise value of 24 times trailing Ebitda, an earnings measure, is a discount to Cellnex’s multiple of 30 times Ebitda. That’s no doubt because the two telecoms shareholders retain influence over Inwit’s decision-making, potentially to the detriment of other tenants.It seems more likely that Vantage will trade in line with Inwit than with Cellnex, especially if Vodafone’s presence makes it harder to attract customers. Vodafone could claim as many as 10% of Vantage’s towers as “strategic sites,” giving it the right to block other carriers. Cellnex’s growth has meanwhile also been driven by a $20 billion acquisition spree, including the 10 billion-euro deal it announced earlier this month to buy CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s European towers business. Sellers seemed keen on Cellnex as a buyer because of the Barcelona-based firm’s independence. (Carriers usually sell the towers then lease back the capacity, so they want to feel confident about a subsequent customer relationship.) Vantage may have a harder time winning bids. At any rate, Vantage’s CEO has indicated that he has just 1 billion euros of capacity for extra debt. So any larger deal-making would likely need to be funded at least partly by stock. All of this means that if Vodafone wants Vantage to realize its full valuation potential, the telecom giant will likely have to reduce its stake. To be clear, I am not advocating Vodafone relinquish control. There may be good strategic reasons to retain control of the towers unit, just as Spain’s Telefonica SA has done with its tower division Telxius. Telefonica sold minority stakes to KKR Inc. and Inditex SA billionaire Amancio Ortega but still has the majority. That gives it tighter control over its network rollout, though it is considering an IPO.Listing Vantage will nonetheless help Vodafone CEO Nick Read, not least because the IPO proceeds will trim the company’s 54 billion euros of net debt. But the towers unit will remain disadvantaged as long as the carrier is peering over its shoulder.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.