Rogers Falls as Customer Additions Miss Estimates: Toronto Mover

Rogers Communications Inc., Canada’s largest wireless operator, fell the most in a year after adding fewer subscribers in the first quarter than analysts estimated.

The shares slid 3.2 percent to C$50.40 at the close in Toronto, the most since April 25, 2012. The drop cut the stock’s gain this year to 12 percent.

Rogers signed up 32,000 customers to contracts last quarter, the Toronto-based company said yesterday, missing the average analyst estimate of 42,000. Sales climbed 2.9 percent to C$3.03 billion ($2.95 billion), compared with an average estimate of C$3.06 billion, even after Rogers posted better-than-expected numbers for average user spending.

Chief Executive Officer Nadir Mohamed, who plans to retire in January, is seeking to consolidate Rogers’s No. 1 position by increasing investments in sports programming to sell to smartphone and tablet users. Rogers has lost market share to BCE Inc. and Telus Corp., which in recent quarters have added more of the heavy data-spending customers that the three operators are vying for.

Profit rose to 80 cents a share, excluding one-time items. Analysts had predicted 77 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Average revenue per contract customer -- a key indicator of how much each subscriber is spending on calls, video and Web surfing from their mobile device -- climbed C$1.17 to C$68.56 last quarter.

Mohamed teamed up with BCE to buy a controlling stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which are poised to qualify for the National Hockey League playoffs for the first time in nine years. Mohamed approved a spending spree to bring top players, including Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team owned by Rogers.

Net income climbed to C$353 million, or 68 cents a share, from C$305 million, or 57 cents, a year earlier.

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