Briefing

Rogers income dips as firm plans $2.9 billion spending spree and issues challenge to regulators

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The telecom reported net income of $468 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, a seven per cent drop from the same quarter last year. Phone revenue dropped 37 per cent to $54 million, but overall revenue came in at $3.95 billion, just ahead of last year’s $3.94 billion. Rogers stock was up 2.8 per cent in late afternoon trading. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Rogers said it plans to spend $2.9 billion on communications infrastructure, including 5G, but CEO Joe Natale warned regulators that if they don’t issue the “right” regulations, that spend could be at risk. Natale’s comments echo Bell CEO Mirko Bibic’s call earlier this month for clarity on potential regulatory changes. Rogers’s challenges extend beyond potential regulations, however. The firm warned that it expected its earnings and revenue to be flat throughout 2020, partially because of dips in phone revenue as more subscribers switch to unlimited plans. Television subscribers, who have declined in number for at least 11 consecutive quarters, are also a drag on company performance. Overall, diluted earnings per share came in at 92 cents, their lowest level in three quarters.