Rogers reports $310-million profit for fourth quarter; revenue up four per cent

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO - Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) is hiking its dividend and renewing a stock buyback program that will allow the Toronto-based company to buy back up to $1.5 billion worth of its publicly traded B shares in the coming year.
The 10 per cent increase to the annual dividend rate was announced as Rogers reported a $310-million net profit in the fourth quarter of 2009, as revenue rose four per cent from a year earlier to $3 billion.
The net profit amounted to 51 cents per share and contrasted with a net loss of 22 cents per share, or $138 million, in the fourth quarter of 2008 when Rogers generated about $2.9 billion of revenue.
Adjusted profit, which is more closely monitored by analysts, was ahead of expectations at 61 cents per share - up from 26 cents per share a year earlier.
A consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters had called for 56 cents per share of adjusted profit. Revenue was in line with analyst estimates.
The annualized dividend paid by Rogers will rise to $1.28 per class A voting share and class B non-voting share, or 32 cents per quarter - up from the previous annualized rate of $1.16 per share.
Rogers owns Canada's largest wireless phone network, which operates as Rogers and Fido, as well as major cable, internet, publishing and broadcast businesses.
At the end of the fourth quarter, Rogers had just under 8.5 million subscribers to its wireless services. Average revenue per user, from both pre-paid and post-paid wireless accounts, slipped to $63.23 from $63.79.
"Against a tough economic backdrop, we delivered solid financial and operating results during the fourth quarter," said Nadir Mohamed, president and chief executive officer of Rogers Communications Inc.
"Looking ahead, we are extremely well positioned with a terrific asset mix and strong customer demand for our products and services. The dividend increase and the renewal of our share buyback program for 2010 underline our continued confidence in the strategic position of the company."

Organizations: Rogers Communications Inc., TSX

Geographic location: TORONTO, Canada

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