Rogers seals key iPhone deal as profit soars
By Wojtek Dabrowski and Jonathan Spicer
TORONTO (Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc, the owner of Canada's biggest wireless firm, said on Tuesday its first-quarter profit more than doubled and that it secured a key deal with Apple Inc to bring the iPhone to Canada later this year.
Rogers, as has been the case in recent quarters, ascribed its strong performance to growth in its wireless, Internet and digital cable subscriber base. It gave no further details on the iPhone.
Rogers had been widely expected to be the Canadian carrier to offer the iPhone, a multimedia-heavy handheld that has been pegged as a potential challenger to Research In Motion Ltd's BlackBerry in the booming smartphone market.
"By far the most important news for the stock today is that Rogers has signed a deal to launch the Apple iPhone later this year," National Bank Financial analyst Greg MacDonald wrote in a note to clients.
He added: "It is safe to assume the launch will be before the important holiday season and possibly before the back to school third-quarter period."
Rogers earned C$344 million (C$340 million), or 54 Canadian cents a share, in the three months ended March 31. That's up from a profit of C$170 million, or 26 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
Consolidated revenue was up 14 percent at C$2.6 billion.
Analysts had expected Rogers to earn 44 Canadian cents a share before one-time items on revenue of C$2.61 billion, according to Reuters Estimates. Continued...