BCE Beats Profit Estimates as Canadian Wireless Pie Grows
By Gerrit De Vynck, Bloomberg News
BCE Inc., Canada’s biggest telecommunications company, posted profit that topped analysts’ estimates even as it increased spending to fuel subscriber growth.
Earnings excluding some items were 94 Canadian cents a share, the Montreal-based company said in a statement Thursday. That exceeded the 91-cent average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales were C$5.34 billion ($4.08 billion), compared with a projection of C$5.38 billion. BCE added 69,848 new wireless customers. Six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a gain of 47,000 on average.
BCE is fighting with Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. for new wireless customers. Rogers added almost twice the number of new users than analysts had projected when it reported in July by increasing spending on promotions. Telus reports on Friday.
BCE added 7,539 high-speed internet customers, compared with 18,606 in the same quarter last year. Average revenue per wireless customer was C$64.32, compared with projections for C$64.41. Shares of BCE had climbed 16 percent to C$61.81 this year as of Wednesday’s close.