No other European telco is entitled to such an honor. Among the short-sellers is even the very peaceful Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. This just goes to show how radioactive investors consider BT to be, especially since French billionaire Patrick Drahi led a raid on the company's capital - he now owns a quarter of it - without disclosing his real intentions.

With opponents like these, BT could do with some solid support. It's Deutsche Telekom - with a 12% stake - that's finally stepping up to the plate, appointing its Chief Operating Officer to the Board of Directors, with responsibility for steering strategy.

Is Deutsche acting in concert with Drahi, or is it trying to block his maneuvers? A few months ago, it was rumored that the Franco-Israeli businessman was hoping for an asset swap with DT. Indeed, it was reasonable to assume that the former coveted the latter's stake in the British operator, and that in exchange he could hand over his operations in the USA - in dire straits as everyone knows.

Despite annual results that have boosted the share price, BT's situation does not appear to be improving. As a result of increased competition, the group has failed to meet its initial targets for its £15 billion fiber rollout mega-project.

The combination of increased investment, loss of market share and rising debt costs doesn't usually bode well. Yesterday, that didn't stop CEO Allison Kirkby from emphasizing with a smile that she loved "squeezing short sellers".

Not much new on the strategy front either, apart from an announcement of £3 billion in cost-cutting and a - very unexpected - dividend increase. BT intends to downsize severely by the end of the decade, and to shed 42% of its workforce by then. Atmosphere.

The business services division, which was supposed to revitalize the Group as it lost ground in the consumer market, posted another poor performance over the past twelve months. Profitability is down a further notch, resulting in an asset write-down of almost half a billion pounds.

BT is aiming for free cash flow of £1.5 billion next year. Against this, the current enterprise value of £34 billion represents a surprisingly generous multiple. So short sellers may not have said their last word.