Rogers Beats Earnings Estimates as Carrier Adds Customers

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Rogers Communications Inc.’s second-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates as Canada’s biggest wireless carrier added more customers than projected.

Profit excluding certain items was 80 Canadian cents a share, the Toronto-based company said in a statement Thursday. Analysts on average predicted 78 cents, based on 14 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Still, it was lower than the same quarter last year, when profit was 84 cents a share.

Rogers gained 24,000 contract customers, while eight analysts estimated an increase of 6,000.

Analysts had predicted that competition for new wireless users would heat up this year among Rogers, Telus Corp. and BCE Inc. Canada’s government in 2013 put an end to cancellation fees for contracts longer than two years, leaving many wireless users free to switch providers this year.

That competition didn’t materialize as much as expected, Phillip Huang, an analyst at Barclays Plc, said in a July 14 note.

“Consumer awareness of the elimination of three-year contracts appears to have remained quite low,” Huang wrote.

Wireless revenue grew 5.7 percent to C$1.9 billion from the same quarter last year while media revenue grew 23 percent to C$582 million as Rogers benefited from fans watching the National Hockey League playoffs, which the company broadcasts in Canada. Total operating revenue grew 6 percent to C$3.4 billion.

Rogers fell 1 percent to C$43.83 at the close Wednesday in Toronto. The shares have slipped 3 percent this year. In the first quarter, Rogers fell short of earnings estimates after increasing spending on promotions.

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