Investors praise Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom found itself praised by investors in recent months, reports the Financial Times.

Apparently, although its stock has fallen by a quarter in the past 12 months to about €11 a share, it has outperformed the German market, whose Dax stock index is down almost 40% over the same period.

According to the article, one reason for holding relatively steady when all around plummet is that it has re-established its presence at home. Yes, it is losing POTS subscriptions, but almost half of these customers are signing up for broadband from DT rather than its rivals.

Also the telecoms sector has come back in to fashion as the strong cash positions of the companies - and the hope for steady dividends - have made them a safer bet than growth stocks.

Deutsche Telekom maintained its 2008 operating-profit forecast when it released its third-quarter results back in November and CEO René Obermann said the group would be able to match maintain the numbers in 2009, the FT comments.

Deutsche Telekom's rivals France Telecom and Telefónica have also gained unwonted popularity with investors, their stocks are down 20% and 25% respectively year on year. The Spanish stock market, like its German counterpart, has fallen 40% over the same period.

BT is not among this new elite, having posted two very poor quarterly results and attracted a great deal of criticism instead.

"¢ In a separate report, the  FT notes today, "So while growth and globalisation, which once dominated the investment mood, remain subdued as investors seek safer havens for their cash, the focus is likely to remain on traditionally defensive sectors - such as pharmaceuticals and telecommunications - which were previously left in the shadows.

""˜Boring is a good thing to have at this point in the cycle. Dull doesn't give you any nasty shocks,' says Nick Nelson, European equity strategist at UBS."