BT Stock Trading
BT is one of the leading providers of telecommunication products in the UK. The company’s share price has seen a rocky performance over the last few years, but it still has a commanding position in UK and global markets. This guide will cover how to buy, sell and trade BT stock, with information on historical price movements and key share price determinants. Use our list of the best BT stock trading brokers to get started:
Top UK Brokers For Trading BT Stocks
AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.
Demo Account Regulated By MT4 Integration Yes ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FRSA Yes Min. Deposit Min. Trade Leverage $100 0.01 Lots 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro)
Interactive Brokers is a leading global brokerage that provides access to a comprehensive offering of stocks as well as forex, futures, metals, bonds and cryptos. The firm has over 40 years experience in the online trading industry and is heavily regulated by SEC, FCA, IIROC, and SFC. Traders use the proprietary Trader Workstation and can access powerful tools and data feeds as well as comprehensive educational resources.
Demo Account Regulated By MT4 Integration Yes SEC, FCA, IIROC, SFC No Min. Deposit Min. Trade Leverage $0 $100 1:50
XM is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker with 10+ million clients in 190+ countries. Since 2009, this trusted broker has been known for its low fees on 1000+ instruments. XM is regulated by multiple financial bodies, including the ASIC and CySEC.
Demo Account Regulated By MT4 Integration Yes ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, FSC, FSCA Yes Min. Deposit Min. Trade Leverage $5 0.01 Lots 1:30
British Telecommunications PLC (BT) is a telecommunications firm operating from headquarters in London. BT offers services on a global scale, reaching customers in over 170 countries. The company was founded in 1846 as the first business to develop a nationwide communications network. BT was privatised in 1984, with around 50% of the shares sold to investors.
BT, which holds a royal warrant, commands around a 30% market share in the UK broadband and mobile service sector, with over 18 million customers in the country.
BT stock is traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the ticker symbol, BT.A. BT shares were also listed on the New York Stock Exchange as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) until 13 September 2019.
For the year ending 31st March 2022, BT Group PLC published an annual revenue of £20 billion with a pre-tax profit of just under £2 billion. Its share price then steadily climbed at the beginning of 2023.
BT Group PLC has an April to March fiscal year. FY22 full-year results were announced on 11th May 2022. Its quarterly results are typically published in July, November, February and May.
Investors interested in BT stock trading should note the organisation’s financial earnings release dates, as this can cause price volatility in the lead-up and just after announcements. Typically, financial market analysts will publish forecasts and predictions on BT’s performance before the reports are released.
Share Price Influences
To start BT stock trading, retail investors should pay attention to the key factors that can influence the share price:
- Cost Reductions – BT Group PLC plans to improve its balance sheet position by cutting £3 billion in costs over the next few years by merging its Enterprise and Global divisions. This should help maintain the pace of the fibre network rollout. The brand currently has a substantial debt-to-equity ratio of 115.6%.
- Product Price Increase – BT Group announced significant product price changes for 2023, with customers expected to see a price increase of 14.4% from 31st March (the December 2022 Cost Price Index of 10.5% plus 3.9%). This, alongside the cost-of-living crisis in the UK, means customers may look for cheaper alternative suppliers.
- Competition – The telecommunications market in the UK is competitive and BT faces significant challenges, particularly with strong joint mergers in the pipeline for other major brands. This includes a Virgin Media and O2 merger that has already been accepted by the competition authorities, and talks between Three’s parent company, Hutchinson, and Vodafone which, combined, would make it the largest network in the UK.
- Fibre Technology – Since 2020 Openreach has accelerated its fibre investments and expects to have 90% of the UK covered with FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) by 2026, equating to a reach of 25 million homes and businesses. Investors should be cautious of the programme’s impact on the topline balance sheet, with losses expected before the potential of the infrastructure is seen. The complex engineering project is expected to cost the company in the region of £15 billion.
Highs & Lows
BT’s share price hit a high of 206p in June 2021, before falling by nearly 35% to 135p in November 2021. In February 2023, the BT share price was tracking at 30% below its 2022 peak price, meaning market confidence is lacking. A challenging Q1 2023 performance was published, with a 10% drop in profit before tax vs Q1 2022.
At the time of writing, the 52-week high share price was recorded on 17th February 2022 at 201p with a low on 12th December 2022 at 110p. Nonetheless, the company continues to provide a healthy dividend yield, with the latest February 2023 payment at 6.68%.
How To Buy Shares In BT
BT’s shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, BT.A.
Purchasing Shares Directly
Purchasing shares through online BT brokers is the simplest and most common way to start BT stock trading. BT brokers act as the intermediary between retail traders and the London Stock Exchange and will usually charge a commission per trade and sometimes additional fees such as deposit and withdrawal charges.
A significant benefit of direct BT stock trading is access to company perks such as dividends. BT has two dividend payment dates per year, in February and September.
As a leading telecommunications brand, BT Group PLC is a component of several major UK and European indices. Indices are a measurement of the price performance of a group of assets. Trading instruments that track indices are a way for traders to gain exposure to an entire economy or sector through a single position. Trends are also generally less volatile than investing in BT stocks alone, meaning potentially lower risk.
The major indices that BT is a component of include the FTSE 100, FTSE 350, and STOXX Europe 600 Telecommunications.
Like indices, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can be used to trade BT stocks alongside other assets in a single position. ETFs are usually invested in a group of themed stocks, making them an effective way to gain exposure to a sector or an entire exchange. They are particularly popular among long-term investors.
Given the size of the company, a technology ETF or an FTSE exchange ETF is most likely to include BT shares. For example, BT Group PLC holds a 3.4% weighting in the iShares STOXX Europe 600 Telecommunications UCITS ETF.
CFDs & Spread Betting
These derivatives allow traders to make leveraged bets on the price of BT and other assets with a relatively small capital requirement and without the need to purchase the underlying asset.
A quick and straightforward way to start BT stock trading is with binary options. These derivatives only require the trader to predict whether the stock’s price will rise or fall, with fixed payouts for those who forecast correctly.
How To Choose BT Brokers
Online BT brokers execute trades on behalf of investors. There are hundreds of brands available for UK traders, each with different fee structures, platforms, apps, instruments, and more. These are some of the important considerations to weigh up at BT brokers:
- Trading Products – Signing up with BT brokers that offer a range of trading assets means you won’t need to open an account with an alternative brand when the time comes to diversify your portfolio or protect against volatility. Popular markets include stocks, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrency.
- Fees – Online BT brokers with low commissions or tight spreads are key as these costs can quickly eat away at profits. Transparent fee structures are a sign of a trustworthy broker; it is important to understand all costs, with no hidden surprises once positions have been opened. Charges to consider are overnight holding fees for BT stock trading derivatives and deposit or withdrawal fees.
- Customer Service – Is there a responsive and reliable customer support team on-hand during BT stock trading hours? Queries associated with trading often need a timely response, particularly if a large amount of money is on the line. Ensure that BT brokers have a range of contact options such as telephone, email, and live chat. It may be worth testing out the availability before registering for a live BT stock trading account.
- Regulation – Regulatory oversight is a major indicator of the level of customer safety to expect when trading with BT brokers. Some of the top-ranked financial bodies are the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in Europe, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US. These provide a secure way to invest in BT stocks, including access to negative balance protection or external compensation schemes in the case of business failure.
How To Sign Up With A Broker
Once you have found suitable BT brokers, follow a few simple steps to sign up:
- Fill out the online registration form with all personal detail fields
- Verify your email address and phone number
- If required, upload proof of address and ID documentation for anti-money laundering and know-your-customer checks
- Once your new BT stock trading account has been verified (typically within 24 hours of a request), make a deposit
How To Buy BT Stock
Use this step-by-step guide to get started with BT stock trading:
- Search for the BT stock listing on the trading platform (ticker BT.A)
- Decide how many shares to purchase or the value to invest
- Choose an order type (e.g. market execution or pending order)
- Add risk parameters if desired (e.g. take-profit or stop-loss)
- Submit/confirm the order
- Track your BT stock trading positions and keep up to date with industry updates and company releases
Bottom Line On BT Stock Trading
BT’s share price has experienced significant volatility over the last few years, thanks to increased competition, larger debt ratios, and the challenging economic climate of the United Kingdom. Having said that, some investors maintain a positive outlook for the company thanks to its fibre network rollout project, with plans to complete the scheme by 2026 and be the market leader in technology advancements across the UK. At the same time, many of the investors involved in BT stock trading see the share price volatility as an advantage and have profited from large price swings.
Use our ranking of the top BT brokers to start buying and selling shares.
Should I Buy BT Stock?
Before deciding whether to start BT stock trading, spend some time reviewing the latest financial performance indicators and historical share price data. The company has many ongoing projects which may lead to some exciting investment prospects in the future, including its fibre network rollout project which the firm plans to finish by 2026 with 90% coverage across the UK.
How Can I Invest In BT Shares?
There are many ways you can get started with BT stock trading. These include trading shares directly via an online brokerage. Alternatively, consider ETFs or indices that BT is a component of, for a relatively lower-risk approach.
Is It Safe To Purchase BT Shares Through A Broker?
Investing through reputable BT brokers is relatively secure. Having said that, it is important to choose a regulated BT broker with tier-one oversight. Look out for a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), for example.
Is It Expensive To Invest In BT Stock?
The price of BT stock is around £140 in early 2023. Fees also vary between BT brokers and different products tend to have different price structures. Some brokers may offer commission-free trading on leading UK company shares such as BT. Importantly, the best BT brokers provide a transparent fee structure with no hidden costs.
Which Exchange Does BT Group PLC Trade On?
BT Group PLC trades on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), under the ticker BT.A. Market opening hours are between 8 am and 4:30 pm (GMT). However, individual BT brokers may set their own trading hours.