Vodafone Group Reaches 5-Year High


LONDON -- Vodafone continued its recent climb, rising 5.4% to reach 196.65 pence, off the back of further speculation surrounding Verizon Communications mulling its options regarding Vodafone's shares in their joint venture, Verizon Wireless.

The move in share price comes following reports from the Financial Times Alphaville blog that Verizon and AT&T have been working on a "share break-up bid," valuing Vodafone at 260 pence per share, around $245 billion. This would surpass AOL and Time Warner's $165 billion merger, and even Vodafone AirTouch's acquisition of Mannesmann AG for $202.8 billion in 1999, the current record holder.

Vodafone's shares had previously reached 191 pence in early August 2012, with today likely to end on a new five-year high. Following the recent rumors, the telecom company's share price has climbed as the market appeared to have new-found hope for the stock. And on a price-to-earnings ratio of below 12 and a healthy yield forecast of 5.1%, well above the FTSE 100's average of around 3%-3.5%, it's not hard to see why.

Rising over 46 pence to 6,458 pence at the time of writing, the news has helped push the FTSE 100 back toward its own five-year high of 6,533.99, reached on March 12.

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