Dividend optimism bolsters Telstra

Telstra shareholders are in for a dividend bonanza if a new analysis proves correct. Investment bank UBS has predicted that Telstra will significantly increase its dividend, but not until next financial year.
There's also speculation that Telstra, when it reports its 2002-2003 results at the end of August, may announce a special dividend, which JB Were says will probably be 1 cent to 1.5 cents per share.
UBS analyst Tony Wilson upped his 12-month price target for Telstra from $4.75 to $5.40. He also said the telco's board may increase the dividend payout ratio from 60 per cent to 90 per cent from fiscal year 2004 onwards.
Telstra's shares rose 4 cents on July 15 to $4.67, taking its gains to 6.1 per cent for July.

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