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Nov 4, 2021

BCE beats estimates as wireless service revenue jumps 5%

We’re ahead of our targets on network expansion: BCE CEO

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BCE Inc. beat earnings estimates for the third quarter, as an easing of Covid-19 restrictions gave a boost to wireless service and roaming revenue and the company did a better job of retaining customers.

Canada’s largest telecommunications company by market value earned 82 Canadian cents a share on an adjusted basis, better than the consensus estimate of 81 cents and last year’s 79 cents. The company said it “remains on track to meet our 2021 financial guidance targets.” 

Key Insights

  • The company added just under 115,000 postpaid wireless subscribers on a net basis in the quarter, close to what analysts were expecting. Wireless service revenue was up 5 per cent.
  • Postpaid wireless churn, which measures the rate at which customers leave for other providers, was 0.93 per cent, better than the expected 1.03 per cent.
  • Revenue growth was soft, with operating revenue rising just 0.8 per cent to $5.84 billion over last year, below the expected $5.95 billion. The company said it’s still on pace for 2 per cent to 5 per cent revenue growth this year.
  • “As pace of our recovery from the crisis quickens, the strong demand for the speed and connectivity advantages of Bell’s leading networks and services is clearly reflected in our Q3 results,” Chief Executive Officer Mirko Bibic said in a statement.

Market Reaction

  • BCE shares were up 17.5 per cent this year as of Wednesday’s close. That’s better than key rivals Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. and trails the 22 per cent gain of the S&P/TSX Composite Index.
  • Conference call begins at 8 a.m. New York time.

BNN Bloomberg is owned by Bell Media, which is a division of BCE.