(Adds detail on television, wireless business, comments, share
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO Jan 12 Canada's Shaw Communications Inc
posted a sharp fall in quarterly profit on Thursday,
mostly due to the cost of shutting down a video streaming joint
venture, while its shares fell on worries about slower wireless
Shaw said its wireless business - the former Wind Mobile
that it acquired in early 2016 and rebranded as Freedom Mobile
in November - added 14,307 net postpaid customers, a dip from
about 27,000 in the prior quarter.
Brad Shaw, the company's chief executive, said the company
had purposefully slowed down in wireless in the quarter as it
prepared for the rebrand and builds out a network upgrade.
"We're not going to launch customers on the old network and
have them come back a month later and say 'I'd like to have a
new phone on the new network,'" he told reporters after the
company's annual general meeting. He did, however, also
acknowledging the tough competition of its biggest rival, Telus
Calgary-based Shaw's core business of selling internet,
telephone and television products came in broadly as expected as
it focuses on building revamped products.
"The wireless piece is still up in the air but I feel
encouraged that the parts of the business that have been around
for a while are going in the right direction," said Dave Heger,
an analyst at Edward Jones.
Shaw launched a renewed television product based on
Comcast's X1 platform on Wednesday, which it hopes will help
stem market share losses suffered at the hands of Telus' Optik
It said it lost more than 13,000 consumer cable television
accounts in the period and another 15,669 satellite accounts,
while adding almost 17,000 consumer internet subscriptions.
Shaw's net income fell to C$89 million, or 18 Canadian cents
per share, in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, from C$218
million, or 43 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
That included a C$107 million ($82 million) charge related
to winding down Shaw and Rogers Communications Inc's
Netflix alternative Shomi last November.
Excluding items, the company's adjusted profit of 32
Canadian cents per share matched the average analysts' estimate,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 15 percent to C$1.31 billion.
Up to Wednesday's close, Shaw's shares had gained nearly 20
percent in the last 12 months. They were last down 1.7 percent
on the day at C$27.71.
($1 = C$1.31)
(Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak
Dasgupta and Dan Grebler)