BCE to hike dividend following improved profits in Q4, full 2016 financial year
BCE Inc. logo is shown at the company’s annual general meeting in Montreal, Thursday, May 6, 2010. BCE Inc. says its common share dividend will be increased by 5.1 per cent this year, starting with the first quarterly payment on April 15, following an improved profit in the fourth quarter and 2016 as a whole. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
MONTREAL — BCE Inc. says its common share dividend will be increased by 5.1 per cent this year, starting with the first quarterly payment on April 15, following an improved profit in the fourth quarter and 2016 as a whole.
The Montreal-based company (TSX:BCE), which owns Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and media companies including CTV, says its net income attributable to common shareholdeers was $657 million in the fourth quarter or 75 cents per share.
That’s up about 30 per cent from $496 million or 58 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2015, when BCE recorded $112 million of severance and acquisition costs.
Excluding the impact of severance, investment losses and debt redemption costs, BCE’s adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter was $667 million or 76 cents per common share — up from $615 million or 72 cents per share a year earlier.
Operating revenue was up 1.8 per cent year-over-year to $5.7 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31, from $5.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Analysts had been expecting BCE’s adjusted earnings to be two cents higher, at 78 cents per common share. Revenue was also slightly less than the estimate of $5.68 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Bell said its service revenue was up 2.3 per cent to $5.17 billion due to growth in its wireless, residential and media revenue but product revenue fell 3.2 per cent to $533 million due to competitor discounting and promotions, and reduced product sales to business customers.
For the year as a whole, BCE’s revenue rose 1.0 per cent to $21.72 billion from $21.51 billion in 2015. For the full year, BCE had $2.89 billion of net income attributable to common shareholders, up 14.6 per cent from $2.53 billion in 2015. Adjusted earnings were up 5.8 per cent to $3.01 billion from $2.85 billion in 2015. Revenue was
BCE’s common share dividend will increase by 14 cents per share to $2.87 per year, starting with a quarterly payment of 71.75 cents per common share.
The Canadian Press
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