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Shaw Communications (SJR) Q2 Earnings Miss to Hit Stock?

Shaw Communications Inc. SJR reported weak financial results in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 (ended Feb 29, 2016), with both the top and the bottom line missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company competes with cable multi-service operators like BCE Inc. BCE, TELUS Corp. TU and Rogers Communications Inc. RCI in Canada.

Adjusted earnings per share came in at 17 cents in the quarter, down 14.3% year over year and also below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 26 cents. GAAP net income from continuing operations was nearly $118 million, down 2.4% year over year.

 

Meanwhile, total revenue in the quarter climbed 3% year over year to slightly above $828 million. However, the figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $861 million.

Quarterly operating income before restructuring costs and amortization was around $361.3 million, up 0.8% from the year-ago quarter. Quarterly operating margin stood at 43.6% compared with 44.5% in the year-ago quarter. In the reported quarter, Shaw Communications generated around $261.3 million of cash from operations, up 11.7% year over year. Free cash flow was around $85.6 million, down 29.6% year over year.

At the end of second-quarter fiscal 2016, Shaw Communications had cash and total outstanding debt of $256.9 million and $4,288.7 compared with $304.6 million and $4,338.5 million, respectively, at the end of fiscal 2015. The debt-to-capitalization ratio stood at 0.49, compared with 0.47 at the end of fiscal 2015.

Subscriber Statistics (As of Feb 29, 2016)

At the Consumer segment, the video cable customer base totaled 1,720,712, reflecting a net reduction of 25,782 customers in the quarter under review. Video satellite customer count decreased by 6,002 to 793,059. Meanwhile, with the addition of 4,335 customers in the quarter, the company's Internet base now stands at 1,786,061. Digital phone lines grossed 990,566, reflecting a sequential reduction of 14,473 lines.
 
For the Business Network Service segment, the video cable customer base totaled 61,266, marking a net loss of 13,572 customers in the quarter. Video satellite customers increased by 2,442 to 34,176. Meanwhile, the company lost 1,547 Internet customers in the reported quarter, taking the tally down to 177,686. Digital phone lines grossed 290,386, reflecting a sequential addition of 3,104 lines.  

Consumer Segment

Quarterly revenues grossed $672.2 million, down 0.3% year over year. Quarterly operating income before restructuring costs and amortization came in at $290 million, down 1.2% year over year.

Business Network Services Segment

Quarterly total revenue from the division stood at $98.6 million, up 6.2% year over year. Meanwhile, the segment’s quarterly operating income before restructuring costs and amortization was $47.5 million, up 1.5% year over year.

Business Infrastructure Services Segment

Quarterly total revenue stood at $64.1 million, up 48.3% year over year while operating income before restructuring costs and amortization was $23.8 million, up 32% year over year.

Financial Outlook

For fiscal 2016, Shaw Communications expects operating income before restructuring costs and amortization for Consumer, Business Network Services and Business Infrastructure Services, combined, to remain either flat or grow in low single digits over the fiscal 2015 figure. Meanwhile, consolidated capital investment for the three divisions combined is projected at around $995 million.

Latest Development

Shaw Communications recently completed the divestiture of its wholly owned broadcasting subsidiary Shaw Media Inc. to Corus Entertainment Inc., in a cash and stock deal worth C$2.65 billion (roughly $1.86 billion). The deal places Shaw Communications as a top pure-play telecommunications company with a solid growth profile.

Interestingly, Shaw Communications has used the cash proceeds from the transaction to repay the bridge financing associated with its purchase of WIND Mobile Corp.

We note that only recently, Shaw Communications acquired a 100% interest in Mid-Bowline Group Corp., the parent company of WIND Mobile, for an enterprise value of approximately C$1.6 billion (around $1.16 billion).

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