Calgary-based Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) Thursday reported that fourth quarter net profit declined as competition intensified during the period, but operating results were higher on solid performances in its media and satellite businesses.
For the three months that ended August 31, the main cable provider in Western Canada reported net income from continuing operations of $133 million, or 28 cents per share, versus $167 million, or 37 cents per share a year ago.
The company posted a 4.2 percent rise in operating income before amortization to C$501 million.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 28 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Consolidated revenue was $1.21 billion, up 3 per cent compared to the same period last year, beating estimates for sales of $1.19 billion.
“Our financial performance in the quarter was solid as we balanced subscriber growth and profitability,” said CEO Brad Shaw.
“The competitive environment continues to be intense and we remain focused on strengthening our core business through technology, customer service and value leadership.”
“Our investments in technology include the ongoing expansion of the WiFi network footprint, our Digital Network Upgrade (DNU), broader offers of leading internet speeds, and the first phase of our TV Everywhere service, with the launches of Movie Central Go and NFL Sunday Ticket Go.”
Revenue in the cable division increased 2 per cent to $803 million due to higher rates, with operating income in the unit little changed when compared to last year at $396 million.
The unit showed declines of 16,474 to about 2.2 million in basic subscribers and 7,907 to 1.9 million in digital customers.
Satellite revenue rose 3 per cent to $213 million. Operating income before amortization for the quarter improved 5 per cent to $77 million.
Revenue in the media division was up 3 per cent for the quarter to $217 million and operating income before amortization was $28 million compared to $12 million last year.
“As we enter the new fiscal year we expect growth in consolidated revenue and operating income before amortization,” Shaw said.
“Capital investment is expected to marginally decline from 2012 spend levels as we continue to enhance our network, provide innovative product offerings, and launch the new Anik G1 satellite.
“Combined with higher cash taxes, we expect free cash flow to be comparable to fiscal 2012.”
Shaw Communications provides consumers with broadband cable television, High-Speed Internet, home phone, and telecommunications services, among other services. It serves 3.4 million customers.
Shaw Media operates one of the largest conventional television networks in Canada, and 19 specialty networks including HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, History Television and Showcase.
Shares in Shaw rose 1.7 per cent this afternoon, to $20.84.