Friday, May 13, 2005

Half way through a lost decade

I remember when a telecom analyst was something to be, a solid career choice. "Doctors and lawyers may come and go, but there'll always be demand for a telecom analyst, my boy," I can recall my dad telling me when I was just a lad. Well, not actually. AT&T was THE telco when I was a lad, and BT's ground-breaking IPO wasn't even a twinkle in Mrs. Thatcher's eye.

Swisscom's invocation of "millenium hype" yesterday made me think back fondly to those days of 97 - 2000 and predictions of "Cisco as the first $1trn company," and an IPO pipeline of European mobile assets that seemed full to the point of bursting. So, sentimental fool I am, I went and pulled this chart from Bloomberg. As a telco analyst, I'm a quarter of the man I used to be, according to this, and EuroTelco has underperformed its broader STOXX index by 47%. Plus, as I highlighted recently, the current technical indicators are looking poor, and what newsflow we have had to date has been pretty relentlessly uninspiring at best. As the great Sylvia Wadhwa once famously said, "There's just one word for it, and that word is 'ouch'."

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