Manitoba Telecom profit, revenue slip
(Reuters) - Manitoba Telecom Services Inc MBT.TO, whose sale of a major network asset was blocked by Canada's federal government last month, on Thursday posted a drop in third-quarter earnings per share as revenues slipped.
The provincial telecom company said it earned 38 Canadian cents a share, down from 50 Canadian cents a year earlier. Revenue fell 3.7 percent to C$408.4 million ($391 million).
The company said it expects lower revenue next year, and forecast earnings per share of between C$1.60 and C$2 for the year.
Analysts had on average expected MTS to earn 22 cents a share on revenue of C$419.1 million for the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company had tried to sell its Allstream fiber optic network to Egyptian telecom magnate Naguib Sawiris and his Accelero Capital Holdings, but the C$520 million deal was blocked by the Canadian government on unspecified national security concerns.
Following the rejection, MTS cut its full-year 2013 outlook to a C$1.15-C$1.45 range from the prior C$1.75-C$2.15 view.
Apart from the national Allstream network, MTS provides wireless, Internet and television services in the prairie province of Manitoba.
MTS has said it does not plan to bid on prized 700 megahertz spectrum outside of its home province in an auction due to start early next year.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Peter Galloway and Leslie Adler)
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