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Shaw Communications Q2 Profit Rises - Update

Canadian media and communications company Shaw Communications, Inc. (SJR, SJR_B.TO) reported Friday a higher second-quarter profit, helped by about 3 percent growth in revenues. The company now anticipates a marginal decline in Cable division operating income before amortization in 2012.

Brad Shaw, chief executive officer of the company said its technology initiatives, including Wi-Fi build and Digital Network Upgrade progressed and added momentum in subscriber growth.

During the quarter, Digital phone lines increased 54,407 to 1,310,417. Internet customers were up 18,681 to 1,906,597, while Basic cable subscribers decreased 9,946. Digital customers increased 46,564 during the quarter to 1,925,518.

In the second quarter, net income attributable to shareholders increased to C$169 million or C$0.38 per share from C$163 million or C$0.37 per share in the previous year. On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn C$0.38 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenue for the quarter grew 2.9 percent to C$1.23 billion from C$1.2 billion in the preceding year, while analysts estimated C$1.24 billion.

Revenue in Cable division increased 5 percent to C$804 million, Satellite division revenues were C$211 million, up from C$204 million and revenues from Media division were C$242 million.

Cable division's operating income before amortization for the quarter was C$352 million, down 5 percent from last year.

The company's operating margin declined to 40 percent from 42.2 percent a year ago.

Looking ahead, the company said it is revising its preliminary view with respect to 2012 guidance and now expects to deliver consolidated free cash flow of about C$450 million.

Separately, Shaw Communications announced that its board has declared monthly dividends of C$0.080833 on its Class B Non-Voting Participating Shares and C$0.080625 on its Class A Participating Shares, payable on each of June 28, July 30 and August 30, 2012, to holders of record on June 15, July 15 and August 15, 2012, respectively.

SJR is currently trading at $20.03, down $0.86 or 4.12 percent, on a volume of 214 thousand shares on the NYSE.

SJR-B.TO is currently trading at C$19.92, down C$0.84 or 4.05 percent, on a volume of 600 thousand shares on the Toronto stock exchange.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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