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Why Vodafone Group Plc Has Gained 23% Since This Time Last Year

Vodafone (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ: VOD.US) has advanced 23% to 207p during the last twelve months, beating the FTSE 100 index which is up by 19%.

The telecommunications company, which boasts more than 404 million customers across 30 countries and five continents, seems to have impressed investors with a series of encouraging statements.

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Last November’s interims saw mixed results that, coupled with the announcement that it would spend a forthcoming dividend from Verizon Wireless on a share-buyback scheme, depressed the shares somewhat.

However, as the FTSE embarked on a bull run at the turn of the year, Vodafone’s fortunes lifted dramatically, with the share price putting on 20p in a month.

Sentiment was further helped by speculation that Verizon Communications was considering buying out the British company’s stake in their joint-venture, which could lead to a huge windfall for both Vodafone and its shareholders.

Then, back in May, Vodafone announced its 2012/13 final results, which saw group revenue decrease by 4.2% to £44.4bn but adjusted operating profit up 9.3% to £12bn.

Vodafone also revealed that earnings per share increased 5% to 15.65p, while management lifted the dividend by 7% to soothe shareholders’ concerns about difficult trading in southern Europe, which saw the company cut prices in order to retain customers.

Tied to the market somewhat, with so much exposure to the continent, Vodafone’s share price has moved in peaks and troughs depending on eurozone sentiment, but the prospect of a big-money deal with Verizon kept the shares relatively high compared to this time last year.

With a resolution finally concluded, it will be interesting to see what the company and investors alike choose to do with their potential profits.

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> Sam owns shares in Vodafone. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone.

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