back to article BT suspends shareholder payments as folk forgo pricey sports TV deals for matches that won't happen anyway

For the first time in over three decades, BT has suspended its dividend scheme as the former state-owned teleco grapples with the fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the financial uncertainty that'll inevitably ensue. The announcement came with the publication of its results for the 2019 business year, which …

  1. Snake Silver badge

    Awaiting the whinging

    from Wall Street-types who expect their profits regardless of whatever else is happening, and regardless of the fact that shareholders are supposed to suffer from the downs as well as benefit from the ups.

    Countdown: 3, 2, 1...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Awaiting the whinging

      With all this uncertainty about, the only certain thing to come from this will be a huge share sell off.

      The BT share price will drop and soon will become a penny stock. Thankfully (or possibly not) the Gubbermint has a veto if as is very likely a foreign company comes in and tried to buy it for peanuts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Awaiting the whinging

        The present government has precisely no interest in retaining British ownership of infrastructure and productive businesses, why would they intervene for BT?

        Virgin is already US-owned.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Awaiting the whinging

          Virgin was originally NTL, which was always US owned.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Awaiting the whinging

            Actually no. Virgin Media was a lot more than NTL.

            NTL was listed on NYSE. When it ran out of money badly in the early 2000s, it merged with Telewest, virgin.net and Virgin Mobile. At this point it was partly US, UK and Australian owned with a complex corporate structure. It was rebranded as Virgin Media in 2007 (I was aware of this because I was a Telewest subscriber, one of the first in the country.)

            It was subsequently 100% taken over by Liberty, without the slightest government interest.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Awaiting the whinging

      If they're whingeing, they have only themselves to blame.

      BT have a monopoly on land line provision and consequently a secure and regular income.

      They chose to use that so sell and lease back various assets leaving them with regular liabilities offsetting their regular income and dependent on various more speculative ventures to provide a return to their shareholders.

      Tough.

    3. mickm

      Re: Awaiting the whinging

      Pensions? A lot of people have a reasonable percentage of their pension in BT or similar shares. We don't all have magic final salary pensions. I'm definitely whinging!!

  2. Giles C Bronze badge

    Yes the short term shareholders will winge, but as the comment above states they are expected to suffer the good and bad times. Besides if they do this, then they aren’t going begging for handouts or issuing new shares and they should come out in a better state that a lot of companies (virgin altantic?]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      About those shares.....

      Yes they are about to issue more shares. About £500 of them a head to staff (T & C's apply natch.) the offer apparently still stands in spite of everything else.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: About those shares.....

        £500? Have things changed? I'm sure it used to be about £50.

  3. Chronos Silver badge
    Happy

    Oh blimey!

    ...as Rangi Ram would say. This Covid thingummy is tentacling its way into all manner of lucrative bollocks, isn't it? Oh dear, how sad, never mind, as BSM Williams would have replied.

  4. clyde666

    Excellent news

    There is a silver lining after all

  5. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Ansan Greeners FC

    Three Brighton players down, the whole Dresden team quarantined.

    We are going to have to pick South Korean teams to support. I recommend Ansan Greeners FC, second league but their colours are as good as their name suggests.

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