Telus posts marginal net profit in Q1 as revenue increased

The Canadian telecom giant, Telus, today posted [PDF] earnings for the first quarter of 2010.

The company reported total revenue of $2.375-billion for the quarter, which is essentially unchanged from the same period last year.

Despite revenue staying stagnant, total profit in the quarter was down almost 17-percent to $268-million, compared to the same period in Q1 ’09.

The company said it added 51,000 aggregate net subscribers across all of it’s services, but it had lost 57,000 land line subscribers in the period due to intensifying competition from other market competitors, primarily in Vancouver and western Canada.

The company currently has 11.89-million total customer connections, compared to 11.62-million in the same period in 2009, an increase of 2.4-percent YoY.

 Telus today also announced a dividend of $0.50 per share. Telus chief executive Darren Entwistle said today in a statement, “Based on our positive financial outlook, we are increasing our dividend by 5.3%”

The wireless giant was able to add more wireless subscribers because of it’s new high speed data network that also supports the GSM standard along with Telus’ traditional CDMA infrastructure.

However, as more companies begin to enter the Canadian telecom space due to recent legislation allowing more firms to use cellular spectrum, competition is expected to intensify significantly.

The Canadian telecom landscape has already changed, with new recently launched discount firms such as Wind Mobile that offer discounted monthly packages, including premium phones such as RIM’s latest BlackBerry Bold 9700, all without terms.

Canadian consumers could expect to get in the short-term new lower monthly rates, and a reduction in the traditional three-year term contracts. Additionally, new completely unlimited plans are expected, and already offered by Rogers Communications in select parts of Canada. These plans are expected to later arrive in Ontario, among other provinces.

Rogers previously had a complete monopoly over the GSM networks in Canada after acquiring Fido a number of years ago. Rogers almost immediately ceased that unlimited voice and data package subsequent to the acquisition.

The Telus stock (NYSE:TU) is trading up almost 4-percent to $36.28 per share as at mid-day trading.

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Peggy holds a Bachelor Arts degree with honors in Economics from York University in Toronto, Canada. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She has also passed Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program. She is also a realtor. Write to [email protected]
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