The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price jumped 2.27% higher yesterday in some good news for shareholders. While S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) shares have been gripped by this bear market, Telstra is holding up pretty well. In fact, compared to the 29.22% loss for the ASX 200 this year, the telco’s shares are down just 10.73% – a relative outperformance of 18.49%.
But what’s really keeping the Telstra share price afloat and where is it heading in 2020?
What’s the future like for the Telstra share price?
Clearly, coronavirus concerns are hurting ASX 200 shares the most right now. That’s put pressure on not just the Telstra share price but most of the index constituents in March. The February earnings season now seems like an age ago, let alone the devastating bushfire season that weighed on investors’ minds.
It’s true that the Telstra share price has shed 10% of its value this year but that’s not that bad. There are ASX shares that have been hammered more than 75% in the crash. I also think the future could be reasonably bright in 2020 for the Aussie telco. Telstra is definitely an essential service, and with more people working from home, I think there will be more demand for its services.
While I’m clearly no expert, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more investment in remote working capabilities when the pandemic has passed. That bodes well for Telstra, particularly given its apparent status as a leader in the 5G network race. Telstra looks to be playing its part as a good corporate citizen in these trying times as well.
It can be a scary market out there if you’re not sure what you’re doing. However, I think the Telstra share price is better placed than many other Aussie companies. While investors are flocking to the ASX 200 gold shares for safety, I think Telstra is in the frame as a long-term buy and hold.
Is now the time to buy Telstra shares?
I don’t think the Telstra share price is in the buy zone just yet. Having said that, I will be keeping a close eye on it in 2020. Telstra is still a juggernaut in the telco space and could well hold its value throughout this COVID-19 market crash.
It’s important in times like these to remember that many of the best ASX 200 shares are oversold and in the buy zone. Now is not a time to panic and make rash decisions. This is a great chance to look for value and some absolute bargain tactical buys. If you can set up your portfolio now, you could accelerate your retirement in the years to come.
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As of 17/3/2020
Motley Fool contributor Ken Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.