TORONTO – Rogers Communications Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter profit declined more than 28% as the telecom and media company pushed ahead with changes intended to improve its long-term performance.The Toronto-based cable and wireless company, which also owns one of Canada’s largest media businesses, reported $332 million of net income, or 64 cents per share — down from $464 million, or 90 cents per share.Adjusted profits were equal to 78 cents per share, which was six cents below analyst estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue increased 1% to $3.25 billion, coming within analyst expectations.Shares of the company dropped 2%, or 87 cents, to $42.56 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Rogers has been working on a multi-year plan to improve its results, including a reorganization of its operations under the leadership of chief executive Guy Laurence, who said the third quarter results are where the company expected.The company — which has a national wireless network, regional cable operations in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, and major broadcast, print and digital media operations — is reaffirming its guidance for 2014 but says its adjusted operating profit and free cash flow will likely be at the lower end of the range.Within the results, wireless revenue grew 2% to $1.88 billion, as the company added 17,000 new postpaid subscribers, a smaller amount than last year.Cable revenue slipped one% to $864 million as the company lost 30,000 TV subscribers and faced more pricing competition.Rogers breaking CRTC rules with exclusive features in NHL sports app, says Bell TVNetflix Inc, Rogers Communications Inc team up for Canadian-produced drama series ‘Between’Rogers taps Cisco’s president to head enterprise unit as telecom restructuring continuesThe media division, which houses Rogers’ print and digital publications, TV and radio stations, and the Toronto Blue Jays, reported flat revenues of $440 million.Laurence, a former Vodafone UK CEO who joined the company last December, told analysts Thursday that Rogers has reduced layers of its management and cut the number of executives ranked vice president and above by 15%.“It is not a trivial exercise but it is now complete,” he said.Rogers — which has Canada’s largest base of mobile phone subscribers and one of the country’s largest cable and Internet operations — has been losing market share to long-time rivals Bell, owned by BCE Inc., and Telus.Earlier this week, Bell’s parent company filed an application with the broadcast regulator that included concerns over Rogers new NHL GamePlus mobile app, which offers multiple camera angles that users can interact with through the software.Bell told the CRTC that it believes the app violates certain regulatory rules that require content created for broadcasters to be made available to all competitors. The company said the app should be made available for free to all NHL GameCentre Live subscribers, not just Rogers customers.Rogers has said the features, which include cameras mounted on referee’s helmet, were created for an interactive platform and wouldn’t have been developed solely for TV broadcasts — therefore are exempt under the rules. The company has until Nov. 20 to respond formally to the complaint.“They are complaining and trying to stifle innovation in hockey instead of actually applauding it, which is what we see from pretty much everybody else,” Laurence told analysts.“Obviously we don’t believe that we have transgressed any rules, and we will continue to focus on delivering innovation for consumers, and not fighting little petty fights such as this. I don’t think they will win. Let’s see.”Laurence also told analysts he is “not seeking to get a lot of revenue” from the Game Centre Live app, but considers the product akin to a business-class upgrade for airlines, where coach customers have the option to upgrade for a price. read more

US bank earnings up 5.2 pct in 2Q as banks cut expenses; lending at fastest pace since 2007 by Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press Posted Aug 28, 2014 8:01 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. banks’ earnings rose 5.2 per cent in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, as banks reduced their expenses and lending marked its fastest pace since 2007.The data issued Thursday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed a robust picture as the banking industry continues to recover from the financial crisis that struck six years ago. The improving economy has brought greater demand for loans and stepped-up lending.The FDIC reported that U.S. banks earned $40.2 billion in the second quarter of this year, up from $38.2 billion in the same period in 2013.The number of banks on the FDIC’s problem list fell to 354 in the second quarter, the lowest number in more than five years and down from 411 in the January-March period.The FDIC said 57.5 per cent of banks reported an increase in profit in the second quarter from a year earlier, and only 6.8 per cent of banks were unprofitable — down from 8.4 per cent a year earlier.Banks reduced expenses by setting aside less in reserves to cover bad loans and making smaller payrolls, the report said.FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said the industry continued to improve in the latest quarter. However, he said, “challenges remain” for banks as their revenue is chipped away by lower income from mortgage business.Total loan balances rose by $178.5 billion, or 2.3 per cent, from the first quarter, led by increases in commercial and industrial loans, home mortgages, credit card lending and auto loans. The 2.3 per cent increase was the biggest quarterly rise since the fourth quarter of 2007, about a year before the financial crisis struck.Demand for loans has grown as the economy has improved, new jobs have been added over the past six months and business confidence has rebounded. Improved prospects for repayment of loans have prompted bankers to extend more credit.“The improvement in loan balances has now been sustained over time,” Gruenberg said, adding that the key will be for the trend to continue.Community banks earned $4.9 billion in the second quarter, up 3.5 per cent from a year earlier.Banks with assets exceeding $10 billion continued to drive the bulk of the earnings growth in the May-June period. While they make up just 1.6 per cent of U.S. banks, they accounted for about 82 per cent of industry earnings.Those banks include Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. Most of them have recovered with help from federal bailout money during the financial crisis and record-low borrowing rates.Last year, the number of bank failures fell to 24. That is still more than normal. In a strong economy, an average of four or five banks close annually. But failures were down sharply from 51 in 2012, 92 in 2011 and 157 in 2010 — the most in one year since the height of the savings and loan crisis in 1992.So far this year, 14 banks have failed. Twenty had been shuttered by this time last year.The decline in bank failures has allowed the deposit insurance fund to strengthen. The fund, which turned from deficit to positive in the second quarter of 2011, had a $51.1 billion balance at the end of June, according to the FDIC. That compares with $48.9 billion as of March 31.The FDIC, created during the Great Depression to ensure bank deposits, monitors and examines the financial condition of U.S. banks.The agency guarantees bank deposits up to $250,000 per account. Apart from its deposit insurance fund, the FDIC also has tens of billions of dollars in reserves. read more