BCE, Telus Results Demonstrate Why Verizon is So Important

Wireless is the growth driver for both. Investors are concerned this might disappear.

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The Motley Fool

Two of Canada’s big 3 telecoms reported their quarterly results this morning and both came in pretty much as expected.

BCE (TSX:BCE,NYSE:BCE) posted quarterly adjusted EPS of $0.77 which slightly exceeded the consensus estimate of $0.74.  And Telus (TSX:T) reported adjusted EPS of $0.54, also slightly exceeding the consensus estimate of $0.52.

Investors however aren’t all that interested in what these company’s quarterly results look like right now.  Of more interest is what they might look like if Verizon does indeed set-up shop on this side of the border.  And today’s results help demonstrate why the possibility of this significant 4th competitor entering our wireless market is so top of mind.

As the tables below demonstrate, wireless is the growth driver for both companies.

Revenue

Wireline Growth

Wireless Growth

BCE

-0.9%

5.4%

Telus

6.1%

5.8%

Source:  RBC Capital Markets

EBITDA

Wireline Growth

Wireless Growth

BCE

-2.9%

8.9%

Telus

-1.2%

5.0%

Source:  RBC Capital Markets

Aside from a solid bump thanks to the Data portion of Telus’ Wireline segment, these legacy assets are on a slow but steady decline.  Ex this Data segment, year-over-year revenue and EBITDA growth was substantially better in the company’s respective Wireless segments compared to Wireline.

Foolish Bottom Line

Should another competitor with sizeable clout enter our market, growth in the Wireless segments of both is sure to slow.  This will completely alter the appeal of either name to the investment community.  Investors are unlikely to ascribe the same multiple to a company that just had one of its primary growth drivers taken away.  That being said, regardless of Verizon’s decision, cash flows will still be strong for both, therefore the dividends are likely to help hold the stocks in.  But still, as the Globe outlined this morning, there could be another lag down for the stocks in this sector.

If you’re concerned about the Verizon scenario, but count on Canada’s telecom space to provide your portfolio with income, we’ve created a special FREE report that may be of interest.  “13 High Yielding Stocks to Buy Today” will help diversify your income stream and ensure that those dividend cheques keep rolling in without the same risk of a capital loss.  Simply click here now to download this report at no charge.

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Fool contributor Iain Butler does not own shares in any company mentioned at this time.  The Motley Fool doesn’t own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

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