TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc.’s third-quarter profit and revenue fell compared with a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company beat analyst estimates after rebounding from the second quarter.
The wireless, cable and media company said Thursday it earned $512 million or $1.01 per diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 30.
That was down from a profit of $593 million or $1.14 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2019 but up from the second quarter, when the pandemic’s first wave gripped the country.
“Our results show we are managing the environment effectively, and our long-term strategy is sound,” Rogers chief executive Joe Natale told analysts in a conference call to discuss the results.
He added that competition between Canada’s wireless carriers intensified in the third quarter, especially involving flanker brands (which include the company’s Fido and Chatr services).
On an adjusted basis, Rogers says it earned $1.08 per diluted share for the quarter, down from an adjusted profit of $1.19 per diluted share a year ago.
Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 78 cents per share and revenue of $3.34 billion, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.
Revenue from across the Rogers business totalled nearly $3.67 billion, up from the second quarter but down from $3.75 billion in the same quarter last year.
Wireless service revenue was down nine per cent from the third quarter of 2019 mainly due to lower roaming revenue amid global travel restrictions during COVID-19 and lower overage revenue as a result of the industry’s strategic shift to more use of unlimited data plans.
Cable revenue decreased by one per cent with consistent service revenue and a decrease in equipment revenue.
Media revenue increased one per cent primarily as a result of higher revenue associated with the resumption of NHL hockey, partially offset by lower revenue at the Toronto Blue Jays.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2020.
Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B)
David Paddon, The Canadian Press