BCE profits double in 3Q, beat estimates

AP News
Posted: Nov 12, 2009 3:44 PM

BCE Inc., Canada's largest telecommunications company, said Thursday its third-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by lower restructuring costs and taxes.

The parent company of Bell Canada earned 558 million Canadian dollars, or $533 million, with earnings per share totaling 72 Canadian cents, or 69 U.S. cents. That was up from 248 million Canadian dollars, or 30 Canadian cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding some items, earnings totaled 84 Canadian cents per share, beating the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, at 70 cents per share.

Revenue rose less than 1 percent to 4.46 billion Canadian dollars, or $4.25 billion. Bell Wireless added a net 135,000 new subscribers in the quarter, for a total of 6.7 million, helped by demand for its new handsets and other devices, but total revenue was about flat year-over-year as service prices declined.

The company also said higher product revenue from the acquisitions of The Source and the remaining 50 percent of the equity of Virgin Mobile Canada it didn't already own and growth in video revenue offset declines in local and access, long distance, and wireline data revenue.

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BCE said it sees 2009 adjusted earnings at the high end of a prior range of 2.40 to 2.50 Canadian dollars per share, and revenue growth at the low end of an estimated range of 1 to 2 percent.

U.S.-listed BCE shares fell 15 cents to $25.73 in afternoon trading.