Canada's Shaw Communications (NYSE:SJR) reported Friday a worse-than-expected decline in fourth-quarter earnings, however revenue surged on higher rates and digital cable sales.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company posted net income of $121.5 million, 28 cents a share, compared with $124 million, or 29 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, missing average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 33 cents.
Revenue for the period ended Aug. 31 was $938.8 million, up 8% from $872.9 million a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $897 million.
Jim Shaw, the company’s chief executive, called the earnings “solid,” attributing revenue gains to ongoing investment in its broadband networking, new products, value pricing, and customer service.
Sales for provider of television broadcasting, digital phones and Internet were driven in its cable division, up 9% to $741 million, due to customer growth and rate increases, as well as in its satellite division, up to $197 million.
During the fiscal year, Shaw acquired the broadcasting business of Canwest Global Communications, which the company said positions it as a “leading Canadian entertainment, broadcasting and communications company.”
Shaw also purchased Mountain Cable, adding to its digital cable unit. Those digital subscribers now represents 70% of total customers.
“Technology is driving change in the Canadian broadcasting system, transforming content distribution and viewership,” Shaw said. “The strategic initiatives we started this year position us to continue to be a leader in the dynamic and evolving entertainment, broadcasting and communications industry.”
Last quarter, the company paid more than $370 million in dividends and repurchased $118 million of its shares.