Rogers Communications Inc. reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Rogers Communications Q4 profit beats expectations, raises dividend

TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. raised its dividend for the first time since 2015 as it reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.

The cable and wireless company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 50 cents per share, up from its previous payment to shareholders of 48 cents per share.

“We delivered strong financial and operating results in the fourth quarter and terrific results for the full year,” CEO Joe Natale said. “We delivered on all of our key financial commitments and released a strong outlook for 2019.”

The Toronto-based company, one of Canada’s largest integrated telecommunications and media companies, said Thursday it expects to spend between $2.85 billion and $3.05 billion on capital projects.

That’s up from $2.79 billion in capital expenditures last year.

Rogers, BCE’s Bell, Telus and Shaw Communications are all investing to increase the speed and capabilities of their wireless networks and upgrade their fibre optic networks.

The increased dividend and capital budget came as Rogers said it earned $502 million or 97 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31. That’s up from $499 million or 97 cents per share in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue totalled $3.94 billion, which was above analyst estimates and up from $3.73 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, when Rogers experienced lost sales during the important pre-Christmas period due to system malfunctions.

Revenue growth was primarily driven by its wireless operations, which added 112,000 net subscribers during the quarter. Average monthly revenue per subscriber also increased to $65.12 from $63.46 a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Roger said it earned $585 million or $1.13 per diluted share for its most recent quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $525 million or $1.02 per diluted share a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected Rogers to have adjusted earnings of $1.08 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. Revenue was anticipated to come in at nearly $3.88 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Rogers is the first of Canada’s three big national wireless carriers to report its 2018 fourth-quarter and year-end results. BCE and Telus are to issue their reports in early February.

Last week, Shaw Communications Inc. — Western Canada’s largest cable company and owner of Freedom Mobile — beat analyst estimates with a nearly 70 per cent increase in its first-quarter profit.

Just Posted

Vikings Days a celebration of Danish culture

The Danish Canadian Museum in Dickson held its annual Viking Days celebrating… Continue reading

Red Deer would be the site of potential TV show

A potential TV show aims to bring Red Deer kids across the… Continue reading

Oilsands firms considering diluent recovery units to boost crude-by-rail volumes

CALGARY — Ongoing pipeline project delays and growth in crude-by-rail capacity from… Continue reading

WATCH: ‘Lots to see and do’ at Pioneer Days in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating its 24th annual Pioneer Days this weekend.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

OTTAWA — The United Kingdom is shirking its share of the international… Continue reading

Federal and provincial leaders to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

MONTREAL — A number of federal and provincial leaders are expected in… Continue reading

Maxime Bernier tells party faithful he will make it into the leaders’ debates

OTTAWA — Maxime Bernier argued that not inviting him to take part… Continue reading

Alberta suspects lead Mounties on chase before their capture in Camrose

CAMROSE, Alta. — Mounties from the Wetaskiwin, Alta., detachment had their hands… Continue reading

Man dies in hospital after aggravated assault in Winnipeg, police say

Winnipeg police say a man is dead after he was allegedly assaulted… Continue reading

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

MONTREAL — More than seven years after Raif Badawi was thrown in… Continue reading

Islamic State claims bombing at Kabul wedding that killed 63

KABUL — The suicide bomber stood in the middle of the dancing,… Continue reading

Most Read