Thursday, October 22, 2020

BTCL share price tumble as CEO departs

The recently BSE listed Botswana Telecommunications (BTCL) has had its share price dropping down to below its Initial Public Offering price of P1 this week. This was the first time the telecommunication giant pulled a dismal performance since selling part of its shares to both individual and institutional investors. BTCL first dropped below the P1 per share price on Thursday after losing 2 thebe from the previous day trading. 

On Friday, the Paul Taylor led company BTCL gained 1 thebe to end the day and the just ended week trading at P0.98 per share. 

The poor performance by the BTCL stock follows recent news in which the company announced that it will part ways with its listing managing director Taylor. Taylor is expected is expected to have his last day at Megaleng House on the 19th of this month. Upon his departure, the current BTCL Chief Operational Officer (COO), who also serves as the deputy MD, Anthony Masunga will take over on acting basis. 

Financial analysts have also aligned the share price tumble to the recent poor financial results that BTCL announced. 

The company’s financial statements released to the markets late Wednesday shows that its full year loss for the year ended 31 March 2016 stood at P371 million from a profit of P147 million recorded in 2015.

Explaining the loss to financial analysts and journalists at the result announcements two weeks back, Taylor said that there were a number of technical adjustments made to the BTCL accounts as a result of the audit process; “most notably the impairment charge at P522 million compared to an expectation in the prospectus of P306 million”.

According to the BTCL listing prospectus, an indicative impairment charge of P306 million was anticipated, however the company financials show that it recorded impairment adjustment of P322 million during the year under review. 

The BTCL financials also indicate that it’s operating costs excluding impairment charge increased by 11 percent from P1.345 billion to P1.487 billion. The increase has been attributed to accelerated depreciation of network assets and an increase in mobile handset subsidy. 

Meanwhile, despite the loss, BTCL said two weeks back that it will pay out a dividend of 5 thebe per share to its shareholders which include the government, institutions, workers and individual investors.

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