Rogers shares jump as wireless, internet growth boost profit
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote), Canada's biggest wireless provider by subscribers, posted better-than-expected quarterly profit as it added more postpaid wireless and internet subscribers, sending its shares up 4 percent on Thursday.
The Toronto-based cable, telecom and media company said it added 65,000 postpaid wireless subscribers in the second quarter, and that they paid almost $6 more per month from a year ago. Postpaid customers typically use more expensive devices and pay much more for service than prepaid subscribers.
The company also signed up 12,000 landline internet and 5,000 landline phone accounts but lost 23,000 television subscribers.
"It was hugely competitive, we just happened to have a good quarter," Chief Executive Guy Laurence said on a conference call with analysts.
He said Rogers plans to launch an internet-based television upgrade at the end of this year that should help it reverse a trend of television subscriber losses.
"We are confident we can start to make a turnaround in cable in 2017," he said.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Drew McReynolds said the results were a "notable improvement" after a weak start to the year.
Rogers is facing heightened competition for phone and television customers. It is also pushing its internet services as the anchor product for households moving toward more online services and away from landline telephones and cable television. Continued...