Rogers profit boosted by smartphone push

Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:35pm EDT
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By Allison Martell

(Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote), Canada's largest mobile phone company, said on Wednesday quarterly profit rose after stripping out special items, as a wave of new smartphone subscribers boosted wireless revenue.

Shares of Rogers jumped more than 5 percent after the Toronto-based company said the percentage of smartphone subscribers surged, before giving back some gains. Apple Inc's (AAPL.O: Quote) iPhone 5 went on sale late in the quarter.

Smartphones are an important revenue driver because each user pays Rogers nearly twice as much each month as a non-smartphone phone user.

"We are attracting and retaining our highest lifetime value customers, which is squarely on strategy, and the most significant driver of our top line," Chief Executive Nadir Mohamed said on a conference call with analysts and investors.

Rogers, which also owns television stations, magazines and the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, added 76,000 net postpaid wireless subscribers, up slightly from 74,000 in the same period last year. Postpaid subscribers, who sign multi-year contracts, typically pay more each month than prepaid customers.

"The company remains focused on its more lucrative postpaid base as is reflected in the better-than-expected results within the segment," National Bank Financial analyst Adam Shine said in a note to clients.

Shine said adjusted earnings and a number of other metrics exceeded his expectations, thanks to strong wireless and cable results.

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