Telus: A "Wealth Builder" in Canadian Telecom

12/14/2020 5:00 am EST

Focus: TECHNOLOGY

Gordon Pape

Editor and Publisher, The Income Investor and the Internet Wealth Builder

Telus (TU) claims to be Canada’s fastest-growing telecommunications company, with $14.7 billion in revenue in 2019 and 15.2 million subscriber connections, reports Gordon Pape, Canadian stock specialist and editor of Internet Wealth Builder.

The company provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider.

Telus split its shares 2 for 1 in March, just before the market swooned. The stock dropped as low as $13.55 but has recovered and is currently on an upswing,

In recent developments, the company reported a third-quarter decline in net income but raised its dividend despite this. Adjusted net income for the quarter came in at $356 million ($0.28 per share), down 22.3% from $458 million ($0.39 per share) in the same period the year before.

The lower earnings were due mainly to costs related to the pandemic, including the closing of many of its retail stores, and higher depreciation charges.

Telus reported strong sales, with customer growth of 277,000 net additions, the highest quarter on record for combined wireless and wireline loading. Wireless net additions were 198,000. As a result, operating revenue was up 7.7% from last year, to just under $4 billion.

The quarterly dividend was increased to $0.3112 per share ($1.2448 a year). That represents an approximate 7% hike. The new rate will take effect with the January payment.

Telus normally raises its dividend twice a year but skipped the July increase because of pandemic uncertainties. The new rate will translate into a yield of 4.9% based on the current price.

Outlook: Telus is performing well. It is Canada’s third-largest telecommunications company (behind BCE and Rogers) but it claims to be growing at a faster pace than either. Action now: Buy.

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