November 9, 2010 / 5:33 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 2-Quebecor profit rises more than expected, shares up

* Adjusted EPS C$0.93 vs analyst est. C$0.90

* Revenue in line at C$970 mln vs C$925 mln year ago

* Growth came from across business lines

* Strong subscriber additions in mobile, cable, Internet

* Shares jump 5.7 percent in Toronto

(Adds analyst quote, details, byline)

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Quebecor Inc QBRa.TO posted a 19 percent rise in net income on Tuesday, beating analyst expectations, as the publisher, broadcaster and telecoms company recorded growth across a range of its businesses.

Shares of Quebecor rose after it said earnings rose to C$82.8 million ($82.7 million) or C$1.28 a share, in the third quarter, compared with C$69.4 million, or C$1.08, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4.9 percent to C$969.9 million.

The Montreal-based company’s Videotron unit launched a wireless service at the tail-end of the quarter that added the fourth leg to its bundled package of cable television, high-speed Internet and landline telephony. [ID:nN09185742]

Quebecor said it had 21,900 subscribers on the mobile network three weeks after launch, including 11,000 migrations from a previous virtual network.

It added 32,800 landline telephone customers, 32,100 Internet users and 20,500 cable television subscribers, which BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Casey described as “strong subscriber additions.”

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations rose 12.8 percent to C$59.7 million, or 93 Canadian cents a share, from C$52.9 million or 82 Canadian cents a share a year ago.

Analysts had, on average, expected adjusted earnings of 90 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$970 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Maher Yaghi, an analyst at Desjardins, said he retains a positive long-term view of the company, “given the potential for a significant new leg of growth from wireless, supplemented by organic growth in cable from pricing increases despite slowing subscriber growth.”

Telecom revenue, Quebecor’s biggest source of income, was up 9.6 percent at C$551.7 million. Along with cable television, Internet and telecoms businesses, Quebecor also owns the Sun Media newspaper chain.

Revenue at its news media division fell 1.8 percent to C$243.1 million but the company said its urban dailies had increased advertising revenue for the second straight quarter.

Its QMI news agency set up newsrooms in Montreal and Toronto in the quarter, and since July 1 has been the sole supply of general Canadian content to Quebecor’s media properties after it ended a contract with the Canadian Press.

Quebecor’s class A shares jumped 5.7 percent to C$37 and its class B shares (QBRb.TO) were up 4.8 percent to C$37.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, giving the company a market capitalization of C$2.4 billion. ($1 = $1.00 Canadian) (Editing by Frank McGurty)

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