* Profit C$0.49/share vs C$0.43 a year earlier
* Revenue up 3.1 percent at C$1.32 billion
* Video subscribers fall 23,912 in quarter
* Raises annual dividend rate 5 percent
Jan 9 Canada's Shaw Communications Inc
said on Wednesday that quarterly profit and revenue rose as
higher cable and satellite rates offset a net loss of video
cable and satellite television subscribers.
It also said it would boost its dividend by 5 percent.
Operating income before amortization jumped 9.2 percent in
the media division in the fiscal first quarter that ended Nov.
30 as advertising and subscriber revenue rose.
Shaw, the dominant cable provider in Western Canada, also
boosted revenue and operating income before amortization in its
bigger cable and satellite divisions.
From late March, the company will pay a monthly dividend
equivalent to an annual C$1.02 ($1.03) per Class B share, up
from 97 Canadian cents.
Video customers fell by 23,912, or 1.1 percent, during the
quarter, following a similar drop in the same period last year.
"Direct to home" satellite customers fell by 4,021, or 0.4
percent, following gains in the year-earlier quarter.
"Subscriber metrics were generally lighter than expected,
partly explained by prior year restatements in the company's
cable subscriber bases," National Bank Financial analyst Adam
Shine wrote in a note to clients.
Nonetheless, Shine said the results were better than
expected, due in part to higher cable margins and the media
business. Shaw operates the Global network, a competitor to BCE
Inc's CTV, as well as a portfolio of specialty
A resurgent Telus Corp has been pushing an
Internet-based television product to win over cable customers in
Western Canada. Shaw first hit back with discounts, but has
since eased back on promotions.
"We will remain focused on disciplined and sustainable
pricing strategies, customer retention, and long-term growth,"
Chief Executive Brad Shaw said in a press release.
Shaw, which like Corus Entertainment Inc is
controlled by the Shaw family, said first-quarter net income
rose to C$235 million, or 49 Canadian cents a share, from C$202
million, or 43 Canadian cents, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had expected 45 Canadian cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue at the Calgary-based company rose 3.1 percent to
C$1.32 billion, in line with the average estimate of C$1.31
Shares were little changed, up 0.2 percent at C$22.59 by
late morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.