) -- Canadian communications and media company
( SYMB) saw earnings fall during the third quarter, as higher costs ate into profit margins.
For the quarter ended September 30, the company saw earnings fall 23.7% to $370 million, or 64 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $485 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 83 cents per share, ahead of analyst estimates of 79 cents a share.
Revenue rose 2.7% to $3.12 billion from $3.04 billion during the quarter.
"The third quarter 2010 results demonstrate continued steady growth in new subscribers, revenues and free cash flow, and the return of significant amounts of cash to our shareholders through dividends and share buybacks," president and CEO Nadir Mohamed said. "Importantly, we continued to make significant investments in both customer retention initiatives and opportunistic acquisitions consistent with our strategic priorities to support the future growth of the business."
Revenue from its wireless segment was up 3.5% to $1.82 billion from $1.76 billion, boosted by a 28% increase in revenue from its wireless data services. In the third quarter, Rogers activated or upgraded a record 529,000 smartphones, such as
Research in Motion's
( RIMM) BlackBerrys, and
Cable operations revenues were up 3.1% to $1.02 billion from $989 million a year earlier. The company's digital cable subscriber base grew 6% in the past year.
For the first half of the year, earnings increased 2.8% to $1.2 billion, or $2.32 a share, compared with earnings of $1.17 billion, or $1.87 a share, in the same period a year ago.
Revenue rose 4.2% to $9.03 billion from $8.67 billion.
Management also announced the creation of a dividend reinvestment plan, or DRIP, which will be effective on November 1.
The DRIP will allow shareholders to automatically reinvest some or all of their regular quarterly cash dividends into additional Class B shares of Rogers' common stock at the average market price.
Rogers shares are down more than 7% today to around $37.60.
--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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