Bell Aliant posts higher net profit, stable adjusted earnings in fourth quarter

HALIFAX – Bell Aliant Inc. (TSX:BA) had $69 million of net income in its fourth quarter — up $3.3 million from a year earlier — while its adjusted earnings were unchanged at 38 cents per share.

Bell Aliant GP, which operates the phone, Internet and TV business, had $688.7 million of revenue in the three-month period — down from $694.8 million in the third quarter of 2012.

The adjusted earnings were three cents per share above estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters but revenue fell more than anticipated.

The company said declines in revenue from local, long distance and wireless phone services offset offset growth in data services revenue.

Analysts had estimated, on the whole, that Bell Aliant would have $689 million of revenue and 35 cents of adjusted income.

Aliant had $65.7 million or 29 cents per share of net income and 38 cents per share of adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The BCE subsidiary, which operates throughout Atlantic Canada and in parts of Quebec and Ontario, also forecast its 2014 adjusted earnings will be in a range of $1.45 to $1.75 per share — in line with estimates.

Bell Aliant’s earnings guidance compares with $1.63 per share of adjusted earnings for the full year in 2013.