BCE reports Q1 net earnings of 615 million up almost nine per

BCE reports Q1 net earnings of $615 million, up almost nine per cent by Craig Wong, The Canadian Press Posted May 6, 2014 2:52 am MDT OTTAWA – Canada’s new wireless code of conduct is taking a bite out of BCE Inc.’s wireless business, but chief executive George Cope was upbeat about the company results that helped drive higher profits in the first quarter.Cope said the move to two-year contracts from three-year agreements under the new code has pushed up prices.“We’re thrilled with the financial results of the wireless business, but clearly the industry has slowed a little bit as a result of the wireless code,” Cope said Tuesday following the BCE annual meeting.“But, frankly, it was a really good first quarter and, if you look historically, the first quarter is the slowest because the fourth quarter is so strong.”He added that a lack of any big new offerings from the smartphone makers also affected the results.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission brought in a new wireless code of conduct in December. The changes included the right for consumers to cancel their wireless contracts after two years without fees, as well as certain limits on roaming and excess data charges.BCE reported Tuesday a first-quarter profit of $615 million or 79 cents per share, compared with $566 million or 73 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago, helped by growth in its wireless and media divisions.Operating revenues grew 3.7 per cent to $5.09 billion from $4.91 billion a year ago.Adjusted net earnings were $626 million or 81 cents per share, up from $599 million or 77 cents per share a year ago.Analysts on average had expected a profit of 76 cents per share on $5.12 billion in revenue, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.BCE also confirmed its guidance outlined earlier this year for revenue growth in the range from two to four per cent and adjusted earnings per share in the $3.10 to $3.20 range.The results came as Bell added 33,964 postpaid net wireless customers, mostly smartphone subscribers on two-year contracts. That compared with 59,497 in the same quarter last year.Wireless revenues increased 4.5 per cent to $1.47 billion in the quarter, from $1.40 billion last year, as average revenue per user increased 3.5 per cent to $57.90.Barclays analyst Phillip Huang said the overall wireless results were “solid.”“Continued improvement in subscriber mix and data growth drove ARPU growth acceleration,” Huang noted, adding that the turnover of Bell wireless customers also improved slightly.On the downside, the corporate business was a source of weakness in the quarter as companies reduced the number of phone lines and converted to Internet-based services.Bell lost 35,595 lines at businesses, up 43 per cent or 10,706 compared with a year ago.Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose noted the weakness in the business segment reflected general economic weakness in Quebec and Ontario.“With no obvious turnaround in key verticals, like manufacturing and retailing, we expect continued weakness in the enterprise segment,” Ghose wrote in a note to clients.Revenues for Bell Media, which includes TV and specialty TV channels, increased by 40.7 per cent to $722 million thanks to higher advertising and subscriber fees from the Astral acquisition. Rate increases in specialty TV services and higher revenues from new mobile content deals also helped Bell Media’s revenues.BCE acquired Astral Media last year and its stable of TV channels and radio stations in a deal worth $3.8 billion.Revenues for subsidiary Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) decreased 1.2 per cent to $676 million in the first quarter due to continued declines in local and long-distance phone customers and competition.As of March 31, BCE said it had 7.9 million wireless subscribers, up 1.2 per cent from a year ago. The number of Internet subscribers grew 3.4 per cent to 3.16 million.Bell Fibe TV added 54,680 net new customers during the quarter, up 15.2 per cent. The company says its total number of TV subscribers rose 8.1 per cent to 2.52 million. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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These violent acts must cease urges top UN envoy in Kosovo in

“These cowardly acts of violence are reprehensible, and they gravely jeopardize security and stability in the region,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Kosovo, Farid Zarif. “These acts of violence must cease.”The incident targeted the home of a Kosovo Serb, Nebojsa Maric, and caused extensive property damage to his house, neighbouring buildings, as well as a vehicle, according to the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) which Mr. Zarif heads. He stressed that rule of law authorities must take effective measures to prevent such violent acts. “I have personally received strong assurances from all sides of the debate in northern Kosovo that acts of force and intimidation will not to be tolerated,” Mr. Zarif said.“I look to local leaders to ensure the highest degree of assistance to law enforcement. Any misguided attempt to undermine stability during the elections process should be dealt with as a matter of the highest priority.”The UN envoy urged anyone with information about this incident to cooperate with investigators so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice. read more

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Disney axes Guardians director James Gunn over offensive tweets

Director James GunnSAN DIEGO, United States (AFP) — “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise director James Gunn has been axed from the third movie over a series of offensive messages posted on Twitter several years ago.The tweets, mainly from 2008 and 2011, joked about taboo topics such as rape and paedophilia.Disney, which owns the franchise as the parent company of Marvel Studios, sent AFP a statement confirming the studio was parting ways with one of its biggest stars.“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios.Gunn has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and has drawn the ire of conservative critics, who went back through his timeline and dug up the tweets.Jack Posobiec of The Daily Caller and right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich are among those who unearthed the messages.“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” Gunn wrote on Twitter after the offensive tweets resurfaced late Thursday.“As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humour.”Gunn, who has deleted his account, described himself as a “very, very different” person than when he wrote the tweets, now focusing on love rather than anger.“My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over,” he added.Gunn directed both “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, and was planning to head to San Diego’s huge annual Comic-Con fan convention this week with a secret film project that he had teased on Instagram.“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is due out in 2020. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWalt Disney buys Murdoch’s Fox for $52.4bnDecember 14, 2017In “World”COVFEFE Act would preserve Trump’s tweets as official statementsJune 13, 2017In “World”No ‘proof’ on ‘collusion’ with Russians, Trump saysJune 16, 2017In “World” read more

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