Stock cheat sheet: Telstra Corporation Ltd

Shares in telecommunications giant Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) have had a fantastic run over the past three years, returning in excess of 100%, when dividends are included. That compares to a 27% return from the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) (INDEXASX: XJO).

However with shares in Telstra now trading at their highest level in more than 10 years, some investors have become concerned about its valuation and its ability to generate marking-beating returns. Here’s what you need to know.

Business Overview

Telstra is divided into six divisions with over half of all revenues coming from just two namely, Fixed and Mobiles. The Fixed division provides legacy services across the telco’s copper cable network and includes products such as home phones and internet services. In both divisions, Telstra enjoys extremely lucrative margins and a dominant market share.

Two other divisions which are worthy of noting are the Network Application Services (NAS) and International divisions. Each will be key grow areas for Telstra in coming years.

Looking ahead

Telstra is in a state of transformation. From a heavy infrastructure business, it is becoming a more agile technology and telecommunications company. With the sale of its copper cable network to the government’s NBN Co, partial sale of its Sensis media business and a firm focus on Asia, it is cashed up and beginning to move into the emerging technologies of tomorrow. Cloud computing, digital media, wireless networks and linked devices each present unique opportunities for the telco to pursue in coming years, both locally and abroad.


Telstra shares currently change hands on a trailing price-earnings ratio of nearly 18, a PEG ratio of 3.7 and price book ratio of 5.42. Despite the possibility of falling interest rates and a forecast 5.3% dividend yield, from a long-term investor’s perspective, Telstra simply does not stand out as a good buy at current prices.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any of the mentioned companies. 

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