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BCE Q4 Profit Rises; Provides 2012 Adj. EPS View - Quick Facts

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BCE, Inc. (BCE,BCE.TO: Quote) reported fourth-quarter net earnings attributable to common shareholders of C$486 million or C$0.62 per share, up from C$318 million or C$0.42 per share a year ago.

The year-over-year increase in earnings was primarily due to higher EBITDA and lower severance, acquisition and other costs, and a fair value loss in the fourth quarter of 2010 on the publicly held units of Bell Aliant Income Fund, which were treated as debt under IFRS accounting.

Adjusted earnings per share were C$0.62, higher than last year's C$0.59.

On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of C$0.66 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Operating revenues grew 10.4% to C$5.17 billion from C$4.68 billion a year earlier, mainly due to the acquisition of CTV and improved wireless performance at Bell. Analysts estimated revenues of C$5.19 billion.

Moving ahead, BCE is targeting Adjusted earnings per share of C$3.13 to C$3.18 in 2012, reflecting higher EBITDA and lower total pension costs, offset by lower favourable tax adjustments year-over-year. Analysts expect the company to earn C$3.20 per share for the year.

Further, BCE's Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of C$0.5425 per common share, payable on April 15, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15, 2012.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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