Canada's BCE beats profit estimates on higher wireless subscriptions

(Reuters) - Canadian telecommunications company BCE Inc BCE.TO added more wireless subscribers than analysts had expected, helping it beat profit estimates for the third quarter and putting it on track to meet its financial targets for the year.

The company said it added nearly 200,000 subscribers across its broadband postpaid wireless, internet and IPTV services in the third quarter, up more than 8 percent from a year earlier.

Demand was particularly strong for its wireless postpaid services with the company signing up more than 117,000 subscribers, which Barclays analyst Phillip Huang said was more than consensus estimates.

BCE, popularly known as Bell, is investing heavily to upgrade its network as it competes with bigger rival Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO, which also posted strong wireless growth.

BCE’s Churn, or the percentage of subscribers who discontinued services, was 1.16 percent - also lower than the average estimate of 1.20 percent, according to Huang.

Montreal-based BCE’s net income attributable to its shareholders rose to C$770 million ($600 million) in the third quarter from C$752 million a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported a profit of 88 Canadian cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 85 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

BCE’s operating revenue rose 5 percent to C$5.68 billion.

The company shares were up 1.8 percent at C$60.54 in morning trading.

Reporting by Taenaz Shakir in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila