Why the Telstra (ASX:TLS) share price is at a new 52-week high

The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price has hit a new 52-week high today. Here’s what’s been pushing Telstra up in recent months.

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The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price has today broken its 52-week record and printed a new high for the last 12 months. Telstra shares opened at $3.49 this morning after closing at $3.50 yesterday afternoon.

But at the time of writing, Telstra shares have risen 1.86% to $3.57 a share, a new 52-week high. That blitzes its old high watermark of $3.54 that has held since July last year.

So what’s been going so right for Telstra lately? Well, as we’ve flagged recently, the Telstra share price has been on the rise for a while now. The shares are now up around 4% in the past month, more than 17% year to date, and 32% since the start of November last year. So in many ways, today’s move is just an extension of this trend.

The Telstra share price has even managed to shake off a $1.5 million fine. This fine was announced yesterday. It was issued in response to Telstra breaching its customers’ rights to port their phone numbers in the first stages of the pandemic last year.

What has been pushing the Telstra share price to new highs?

Investors have been bullish on Telstra ever since the telco reaffirmed its generous 16 cents per share dividend for 2021 back in October last year. Telstra share shave had a monstrous run over the past several months. Even so, this dividend is still worth a yield of 4.49% on current pricing (or 6.41% grossed-up). That is certainly nothing to sneeze at in this era of near-zero interest rates.

Also supporting the Telstra share price has been its more recent structural separation announcement. Back in March, Telstra announced that it plans on dividing the company into 4 divisions by the end of the year. These will be InfraCo Towers, InfraCo Fixed, ServeCo, and Telstra International. By separating out its valuable infrastructure assets in particular, many investors are hoping that significant value can be unlocked. The market certainly seems to be thinking along these lines, seeing as this announcement has seemed to help push Telstra to its new highs today.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the announcement that Telstra made just last month. The telco announced that it was spending $277 million on new 5G spectrum rights. The company stated that this purchase would help strengthen Telstra’s already dominant 5G network in Australia. In addition, it also informed investors that its 5G network is on track to cover 75% of the Australian population by the end of June this year.

All of these developments have evidently raised investors opinions of Telstra, and its plans for future growth. Telstra may still be a long way from the kinds of highs investors saw a decade or two ago. But it is a lot closer to those highs today than it has been for a while.

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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns shares of Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Limited. 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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