BCE Inc. (BCE) reported its third-quarter financial results on November 4 before the opening bell. The wireless service revenue of Canada’s largest telecommunications company has been boosted by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Total operating revenue came in at C$5.8 billion for the quarter ended September 30, an increase of 0.8% from the prior-year quarter.
Wireless Service revenue, Residential Internet revenue, and Media revenue grew 5%, 9% and 14.5%, respectively, in Q3 2021.
Net earnings increased 9.9% to C$813 million. Net earnings attributable to common shareholders increased to C$757 million (C$0.83 per share) in Q3 2021, up 9.4% from C$692 million (C$0.77 per share) in Q3 2020. Meanwhile, adjusted EPS was C$0.82, up 3.8% from C$0.79 a year ago.
The company added 136,464 total net new postpaid and prepaid mobile phone subscribers, up 14.3% from 119,345. Average billing per mobile phone user rose 1.1% to C$74.07.
BCE Reconfirms 2021 Guidance
BCE and Bell Canada president and CEO Mirko Bibic said, “The Bell team has achieved our objective to steadily improve results each quarter since Q2 2020, when our business experienced its heaviest impacts from the COVID crisis.
“We have grown total revenue and adjusted EBITDA back to the levels of pre-pandemic Q3 2019 while at the same time significantly accelerating our next-generation network infrastructure investments to help our customers and company come back better from the COVID crisis.”
CFO Glen LeBlanc said that Bell remains on track to meet its financial targets for 2021, lead investments in next-generation broadband networks and services, and meet capital markets goals for BCE shareholders. (See Insiders’ Hot Stocks on TipRanks)
Wall Street’s Take
On October 26, Canaccord Genuity analyst Aravinda Galappatthige reiterated a Buy rating on BCE and a C$69 price target. This implies 7.3% upside potential.
The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about BCE with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on five Buys and two Holds. The average BCE price target of C$66.29 implies an upside potential of about 3.1% to current levels.
TipRanks’ Smart Score
BCE scores a 7 out of 10 on the TipRanks Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock returns are likely to be in line with the overall market.