BCE Q4 profit falls due to writedown, expenses, revenue tops estimates

  • BCE Q4 profit falls due to writedown, expenses, revenue tops estimates

BCE Q4 profit falls due to writedown, expenses, revenue tops estimates

"If there was a ban or we chose a different supplier than Huawei for 5G, we're quite comfortable all those developments would be addressed within our traditional capital intensity envelope and therefore no impact from a capital expenditure program outlook", Cope said. Several analysts have said they see a Huawei ban on 5G equipment as increasingly likely, though most do not expect the government to order carriers to remove its gear from existing networks.

BCE chief executive George Cope addressed concerns around the Chinese network vendor during a conference call with analysts on February 7, saying the company is awaiting the results of a federal government cybersecurity review on the use of Huawei equipment. "Nor do we think whatever the outcome is would it in any way impact our timing in the market for 5G".

Canada's relationship with China has soured since the beginning of December when Canadian authorities arrested Huawei's global CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

"Any 5G ban would likely be most problematic for just Bell and Telus, but with spending requirements that would not likely stick to valuations", Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce telecom analysts said in a blog post this week.

However, the company, which is one of Canada's Big Three telecom firms along with Telus Corp and Rogers Communications Inc, had 121,780 net postpaid wireless subscribers in the quarter, down about 31 percent from a year earlier.

That was down from $656 million of net income attributable to common shareholders or 72 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2017.

Wireless revenue grew 4.6 per cent from past year, driven by a larger subscriber base, a higher proportion of customers choosing larger data plans as well as increased sales of more expensive smart phones, LeBlanc said. Analysts had estimated 86 cents per share of adjusted earnings.

Those expenses included a $190-million non-cash asset impairment charge related mainly to Bell Media's French-language specialty TV properties, which have experienced a declining subscriber base.

Bell Canada (BCE) has upped its annual dividend by 5 percent to CAD 3.17 per share, after delivering its best financial quarter in two years, well within expectations, CEO George Cope said. BCE Inc. had an eight per cent decline in fourth quarter net income a year ago, as an asset writedown other expense increases offset higher revenue for the telecommunications and media company.