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BT Group plc Reports Q1 Earnings Up 5%

The shares of BT (LSE: BT-A) (NYSE: BT.US) gained 1p to 343p during early trade this morning after the telecom group said it had delivered “another quarter of solid growth”.

The FTSE 100 member’s first-quarter statement revealed revenue slipping 1% to £4.4bn, adjusted pre-tax profits climbing 5% to £595m and underlying earnings advancing 5% to 5.9p per share.

BT reported mixed divisional performances. Profits within the group’s consumer operation improved 4% while the wholesale business watched profits slip 6%. In addition, the Openreach infrastructure division saw profits dive 14% following regulatory changes.

Today’s statement also revealed capital expenditure 4% lower at £596m and net debt 12% lower at £8bn.

Ian Livingstone, BT’s chief executive, said:

BT continues to make good progress, delivering another quarter of solid growth in underlying profit before tax. This is despite the impact of regulation and the significant investments we are making for the future.

Mr Livingstone also claimed more than half a million households had now ordered BT Sport before the new channel launches later this summer.

Prior to today, City experts were predicting BT would deliver full-year earnings of 24p per share and pay a dividend of 10.4p per share.

Those projections place the shares on a possible P/E of 14 and a potential yield of 3%.

Of course, whether that valuation and today’s results combine to make the shares of BT a ‘buy’ remains something only you can decide.

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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.