Quebecor Drops as Profit Falls, CEO Steps Down: Montreal Mover

Quebecor Inc. dropped the most in 19 months after reporting quarterly profit that missed analysts’ estimates and saying Chief Executive Officer Pierre Karl Peladeau would relinquish day-to-day responsibilities.

Quebecor’s widely traded Class B stock fell 5.2 percent to C$43.66 at 4:28 p.m. today in Toronto, the biggest intraday decline since August 2011. About 291,000 shares traded, more than double the average of the past six months. Quebecor yesterday closed at C$46.07, a 13-year high.

The owner of the Videotron cable unit and Sun Media newspaper chain said today that fourth-quarter net income fell to C$9.2 million ($9.0 million), or 15 cents a basic share, from C$85.4 million, or C$1.34, a year earlier. Adjusted profit of 89 cents, which excludes one-time items, fell short of the C$1.13 average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 12 analysts.

“Quarterly results are clearly showing the impact of increased competitive pressure” from BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada unit, Maher Yaghi, an analyst at Desjardins Capital Markets. in Montreal, said today in a note to clients.

Videotron CEO Robert Depatie will take over from Peladeau as head of Quebecor and its Quebecor Media unit starting May 8, the Montreal-based company said today. Peladeau, 51, will become vice-chairman of Quebecor as well as chairman of the media division and of broadcaster TVA Group Inc. Quebecor Media’s chairman, Serge Gouin, will retire.

Peladeau, who became president and CEO of Quebecor in April 1999, will continue to oversee “strategic files” in his new position, the company said without being more specific.

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