UPDATE 2-Shaw Communications profit beats as wireless additions double

(Adds wireless subscriber numbers, analyst estimates)

April 12 (Reuters) – Shaw Communications Inc’s quarterly profit easily topped analysts’ estimates on Thursday as the Canadian telecom services company’s wireless subscriber additions more than doubled from a year earlier.

The company, however, posted a quarterly loss in its fiscal second quarter as it recorded charges of C$417 million ($331.3 million) related to its voluntary departure and restructuring programs.

Shaw has been building up its wireless business after acquiring Canada’s fourth-largest wireless company Wind Mobile in 2016 and rebranding it as Freedom Mobile.

The company said it added 89,702 net subscribers during the three months ended Feb. 28, from 33,427 a year earlier.

Barclays analyst Phillip Huang had estimated net additions of 45,000.

The increase in wireless subscribers was helped by demand for Apple Inc’s iPhones, which Shaw started offering in December, and its data-centric service plans, the company said.

Customers on Shaw’s network paid C$38.43 on average, a C$2 increase over a year earlier.

Shaw in January offered voluntary departure packages to its 6,500 employees. About 3,300 employees have accepted the offer, the company said in February.

The company reported a net loss of C$164 million, or a loss of 33 Canadian cents per share, compared with a profit of C$147 million, or 30 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier

Adjusting for the charges, the Calgary-based company earned 50 Canadian cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 28 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 12.4 percent to C$1.36 billion.

Revenue in the company’s wireline division, which accounted for more than three-fourths of total revenue, remained flat at C$1.07 billion.

$1 = 1.2578 Canadian dollars
Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila



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