Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS)- CEO, Andy Penn
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  • Telstra shares have started showing signs of recovery, following a COVID-19 related drop in prices
  • The telco’s share price plummeted in March, as the economy adjusted to the introduction of coronavirus restrictions
  • Other comparable blue chip stocks followed the same trajectory, including Commonwealth Bank (CBA), Wesfarmers (WES) and BHP Group (BHP).
  • However, since then Telstra’s share price has dropped even further, hitting $2.99 per share in May following a €500 million bond (around $A860 million) issue
  • The telco’s share price has since increased back up to $3.51, though the release of its full financial year results is likely to change that
  • Currently, shares in Telstra are trading for $3.44 each, down 0.6 per cent

Shares in Australian telecommunications company Telstra (TLS) have begun showing signs of recovery, following a COVID-19 related price drop.

The telco’s plummeting share price wasn’t symptomatic of anything it had done wrong, but rather part of a wider economic downturn caused by the arrival of the coronavirus into Australia.

March madness

Several other comparable blue chip stocks recorded similar drops in the months of March, including Commonwealth Bank (CBA), BHP Group (BHP) and Wesfarmers (WES).

Commonwealth’s share price dropped from a six month high of $90.99 on February 14, to a low of $54.26 on March 23.

BHP’s share price dropped from a six month high of $41.24, on January 20, to $25.20 on March 16.

While Wesfarmers dropped from a high of $46.94 on Feb 20, to a low of $31.02 on March 23.

Telstra’s share price followed that wider trend and began trading down, as COVID-19 restrictions began setting in.

The telco’s share price dropped from a six month high of $3.85 per share, recorded on February 11, to a low of $3.04 on March 27.

However, the worst was yet to come.

Bond issued

Telstra’s share price dropped below the $3 mark, to $2.99, on May 1, correlating with the release of more information about the company’s recent €500 million bond issue (around $A860 million).

The bond notes were issued on April 23, and aimed to further strengthen the telco’s balance sheet.

However, the bond may have spooked some investors, causing its share price to hit a six-month low.

Since then, the price has steadied, with gradual growth recorded over the rest of May and June.

Turning point?

While since the start of July, Telstra’s share price has risen back over the $3.50 mark, in an encouraging sign for investors.

Further increases of Telstra’s share price are now likely to be dependent on the company’s full-year 2020 financial year report, which is yet to be released.

Its half-yearly report was a mixed bag of results, with total income down 2.8 per cent to $13.4 billion, in line with expectations.

Underlying EBITDA also fell 6.6 per cent to $3.9 billion, while reported EBITDA was $4.8 billion.

COVID-19 will no doubt create further losses, but the company said in a recent statement to shareholders it was in a good position to ride out the uncertainty.

“We believe that Telstra’s continued access to low-cost capital and A-band credit rating demonstrates the strength of the business and attractiveness to global capital markets during this very volatile time,” the statement read.

Shares in Telstra are trading for $3.44 per share today, July 17.

TLS by the numbers
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