CALGARY — Shares of Telus Corp. (TSX:T) were punished Thursday after it reported lacklustre subscriber growth in its wireless business during the first quarter, but analysts say they’re more troubled by a drop customer spending.
The Vancouver-based company added more than nine per cent more customers during the first three months of the year than it did during the same 2008 period, from 5.6 million to 6.2 million. However, the number of net additions was only 48,000, compared with 88,000 during the first quarter of 2008.
“The worsening trend is believed to be primarily due to the weakening Canadian economy including: lower consumer confidence and a resulting decrease in retail sales including customer deferral of buying decisions; lower and more cautious business spending; and lower employment levels,” Telus stated.
Investors drove down the company’s stock down more than 11 per cent Thursday to $31.58 and wiping out a month’s worth of gains and taking competitors Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) and BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) with it. Rogers dropped five per cent to $27 and BCE was down 1.5 per cent to $25.60.