TPG Telecom Ltd shares slammed 26%: Is now the time to buy?

Shares of TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) have been slammed again today. Fetching just $8.70 at the time of writing, the shares have crashed another 6.3% to add to yesterday’s 21.6% mauling.

The heavy declines come after the telecommunications powerhouse released its full-year earnings results to the market on Tuesday. While revenue growth of 88% and a 69% increase in net profit after tax (NPAT) might seem appealing at first, a quick glance at the outlook provided by the business indicates that everything is not rosy.

Source: ASX

Source: ASX

Much of the growth reported by TPG Telecom was driven by the acquisition of rival iiNet in a year where the industry experienced great consolidation. With four major players now established, needle-moving deals will become much harder to come by meaning the telcos will become increasingly reliant on organic growth.

Perhaps that’s why investors have responded so savagely to TPG Telecom’s announcement. For the 2017 financial year, management is guiding for EBITDA growth of roughly 6.5%, with capital expenditures also tipped to be considerably higher than the year just ended. Notably, EBITDA refers to earnings before items such as depreciation, amortisation, interest and tax expenses are accounted for.

That forecast growth is considerably lower than the growth generated in financial year 2016, which does suggest the days of monster growth achievements are a thing of the past. That’s disappointing for investors which explains why the shares have fallen so heavily, after all, they weren’t exactly cheap!

Investors have also taken their disappointment out on rivals Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) and Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), which have fallen 6.6% and 1.4% since Monday, respectively.

Indeed, some investors will undoubtedly see TPG Telecom’s recent sell-off as a great buying opportunity. Perhaps the market’s fears related to the slow-down in growth being overblown, and TPG is still a great long-term buy.

However, the latest set of results have certainly raised valid concerns that this may not be the case, with a number of analysts also cutting their price targets on the shares. Morgans, for instance, cut its own target by 33% to $7.94 a share.

Investors should at the very least expect to endure some more volatility in the short-run, whether or not TPG Telecom’s shares do prove to be a good long-term buy at these prices. For investors with a weak stomach, now mightn’t be the time to buy in.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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