Is Telstra Corporation Ltd a good buy at this share price?

Credit: Telstra

The shares of Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) went ex-dividend today, leading to a decline of over 4% in its share price and bringing it to a new 52-week low. With the company trading at just over 15 times earnings, could now be a good time to invest in one of Australia’s most iconic companies?

It is fair to say that the recent half year earnings were a little on the tepid side. Telstra reported a 0.4% increase in net profit compared with the same period last year.

Telstra’s management advised that investments in its businesses such as PacNet and Ooyala, were negatively impacting its overall earnings performance. But, in my opinion, this short-term pain should prove more than worth it when shareholders eventually see a lot of long-term gain from these investments.

PacNet is a key part of the company’s growth strategy. Through PacNet it aims to become the leading provider of enterprise services to the largest companies and carriers in Asia. I see the low latency international connectivity to the financial sectors in Asia as being a key revenue driver in the future, and have high hopes that the growth in the region will offset the expected decline in fixed-line telephone revenue.

Telstra’s Ooyala business helps deliver video content that connects with audiences. It provides advertising solutions for some of the biggest names in the media industry. Currently it counts ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, and German media-giant RTL amongst its growing client list.

A bright spot from the company’s half year report was its mobile segment. Revenue from mobile, which grew by 3.7% year over year, contributed a massive $5.5 billion of its $13.7 billion revenue. In the future it will face stiff competition from the likes of Amaysim Australia Ltd (ASX: AYS), TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM), and Hutchison Telecommunications (Aus) Ltd (ASX: HTA), but I believe it is well positioned to maintain its market-leading position long into the future.

Due to the size of the company, it is hard for it to provide earnings growth in excess of the market average. But the solid 2.1% earnings growth the market is expecting, according to analysts on CommSec, should create great shareholder returns when combined with its market-beating dividend.

Foolish takeaway

There may be some more growth shares like Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) available, which offer greater earnings growth. However, Telstra, at this price, is a great buy in my opinion, offering shareholders steady growth and a strong and reliable dividend.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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