Canada's Telus adds fewer postpaid customers, shares fall

(Reuters) - Canadian telecom company Telus Corp T.TO added fewer postpaid subscribers in the second quarter and average monthly wireless bill came in below estimates, sending its shares down 2 percent.

FILE PHOTO: A Telus Corporation sign is pictured in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

The company is engaged in a heated battle with BCE Inc BCE.TO, Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO and Shaw Communications SJRb.TO for wireless customers that has prompted carriers to spend heavily to tap customers.

“The results reflect that the pricing environment has become more competitive this year, with data usage growth converting to smaller increases in monthly bills,” Barclays analyst Phillip Huang said in a client note.

Telus said on Friday average monthly wireless bill, which measures how much each user is paying the company for its services, increased 0.6 percent to C$67.24 in the second quarter. Analysts, however, had expected growth of 1.3 percent.

The Vancouver-based company added 87,000 postpaid wireless customers in the quarter ended June 30, compared with 99,000 a year earlier. BCE and Rogers saw those numbers rise in the quarter.

Telus Chief Financial Officer Doug French told Reuters there were fewer prepaid to postpaid migrations in the quarter.

The company said net income attributable to its shareholders rose marginally to C$390 million ($300 million).

Excluding items, the company earned 70 Canadian cents per share, in line with analysts’ average estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Telus said operating expenses before depreciation and amortization rose 6.3 percent to C$2.20 billion.

Operating revenue increased 5.3 percent to C$3.45 billion.

Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel