Rogers Communications (RCI.B) revenue was flat in the third quarter of 2021, but its profit fell from a year ago as the pandemic continues to dampen growth.
Total revenue came in at C$3.7 billion in the quarter ended September 30, flat from a year ago. Cable and Wireless Services revenue both grew by 3% in the quarter. Media revenue decreased by 3%.
Profit amounted to C$490 million (C$0.94 per share), compared to a profit of C$512 million (C$1.01 per share) in Q3 2020.
On an adjusted basis, Rogers earned C$1.03 per share in the third quarter, down 5% from C$1.08 per share a year ago.
The Toronto-based company was expected to earn C$1.02 in adjusted EPS on C$3.7 billion in revenue, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.
Rogers added 175,000 new wireless postpaid subscribers, 17,000 new Internet subscribers, and 64,000 net Ignite TV subscribers during the quarter.
Rogers president and CEO Joe Natale said, “Our Rogers team delivered strong results in the third quarter led by an ongoing recovery in our wireless business. Each of our businesses is benefitting from the ongoing opening of the economy, and we expect to maintain this momentum as we finish the year.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to make significant investments in our customers and Canada, which has positioned us well to drive sustainable long-term growth. As we come together with Shaw, we will build on this foundation to bring next-generation connectivity to communities across Western Canada, helping to create jobs, attract investment, and increase economic growth.”
On October 12, BMO Capital analyst Tim Casey reiterated a Buy rating on the stock while lowering its price target to C$83.67. This implies 37.1% upside potential.
Casey stated that the “abrupt” departure of the company’s chief financial officer, Tony Staffieri, and the weekend’s discussion in The Globe and Mail about the chairman’s unsuccessful attempt to oust his CEO reflects its “boardroom drama.” Casey added that Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw Communications offers compelling industry rationale, and will double Rogers’ wireline assets, but his lower price target is driven by the company’s “elevated risk premium.”
Overall, the consensus is that RCI.B is a Strong Buy, based on seven Buys. The average Rogers Communications price target of C$76.24 implies upside potential of about 24.9% to current levels.