New CEO faces falling profit at Canada's Rogers
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - The new chief executive of Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote) promised to do better after Canada's largest wireless telephone company blamed regulator-mandated and competition-induced changes to its wireless pricing for a surprise hit to revenue and profit.
But Guy Laurence, who joined from Vodafone Group Plc's (VOD.L: Quote) UK unit, gave little away about how he intends to fix a weaker outlook for the company, which is also a major cable-TV provider and owner or part-owner of most of Toronto's major sport franchises.
Shares in Rogers fell more than 5 percent to a five-month low after the release of the disappointing results on Wednesday, which also pointed to more tough times ahead.
"I'd like to see better execution on the wireless front. On cable, I wouldn't say they are doing horribly, but they could improve," said Dave Heger, an analyst at Edward Jones.
Heger recommends buying Rogers stock based on a heavily discounted price relative to its potential if it runs its businesses more effectively.
"Guy Laurence has his work cut out for him to reinvigorate the business," he said.
The company's ability to command a premium price for its Internet, television and telephone services has suffered in recent quarters as rivals match its technical prowess and offer heavy promotions to win market share.
Laurence told reporters he is halfway through a corporate review and will present a plan to the board in May. Continued...