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2015 Q4 Results Look Good for Bell of Canada

February 4, 2016 - Written By Cory McNutt

Rogers announced their earnings the other day and today was Bell’s turn to show their shareholders what kind of fiscal year they had…and it turned out to be about what was expected.  Shareholders should be happy with a solid 5-percent gain in their share dividend.  Bell also gave a glimpse into how they expect to do in 2016 when it comes to their LTE coverage, which now reaches 96-percent of Canadians and should reach 98-percent by the end of this calendar year.  Bell claims it will be the first Canadian carrier to match its HSPA+ coverage with its LTE coverage. Their dual-band LTE now reaches 48-percent of Canadians and should reach 75-percent by the end of 2016.  The will also grow their tri-band LTE throughout 2016 as more Category 9 devices become available for use.

Bell was Canada’s fastest growing broadband provider by adding 204,000 new net additions in Q4 – 74,000 Fibe TV users, 39,000 high-speed internet users and 91,000 postpaid wireless subscribers, which was slightly down from the analysts’ predictions but when compared to the only 31,000 Rogers mustard, it looks very good.  Bell was the leader in Canada’s internet and TV market with more than 3.4 million and 2.7 million subscribers – up 3.5-percent and 3.6-percent respectfully from 2014.  Bell also secured exclusive long-term rights to distribute HBO in Canada as well as signing a similar agreement with Showtime in earlier 2015 and won honors as Canada’s fastest carrier.

Glen LeBlanc, Chief Financial Officer of BCE and Bell Canada said, “Having achieved all financial targets in 2015, with substantial growth in adjusted net earnings and free cash flow driven by healthy year-over-year increases in revenue and adjusted EBITDA, Bell’s operating momentum and financial foundation going into 2016 are very strong.  Our 2016 financial targets reflect continued projected wireless profitability, a second consecutive year of positive wireline adjusted EBITDA growth, an improving financial profile for Bell Media, and an attractive balance sheet supported by good liquidity and an investment-grade credit profile.”

Bell had a 23-percent jump in data revenue compared to the same time last year as more customers are trading up to LTE enabled smartphones and finding more to search on the internet.  This boost in data usage upped their ARPU (average revenue per user) 4.4-percent to $63.67 – well ahead of Rogers’ $59.12 during the same period.  Overall, Bell earned a profit of $496 million on revenue of $5.6 billion during the Q4 2015…this works out to $.58 per share.