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Shaw Communications beats estimates, raises full-year guidance and dividend

Shaw Communications beats estimates, raises full-year guidance and dividend

After Shaw Communications (TSE:SJR.B) beat the Street on the top and bottom lines in the third quarter, it says it is raising its full-year guidance and its dividend.

The Calgary-based media company says it will hike its payout to investors between five to 10 per cent over the next two years. 

In light of the results, Shaw now expects its free cash flow in 2013 to range from $590 to $600 million. 

“As we enter the final quarter of 2013 we are seeing continued positive momentum across our divisions with ongoing revenue growth and overall management of promotional activity and costs," said chief executive officer Brad Shaw in a statement. 

In the past fiscal quarter ending in May, Shaw's revenue rose four per cent to $1.33 billion, compared to the mean analyst consensus of $1.30 billion. 

Shaw's net income rose slightly to $250 million or $0.52 per share, compared to $248 million or $0.53 per share for the same period last year, beating analyst expectations by seven pennies. 

Shaw reported free cash flow of $138 million versus $203 million for the same prior-year period. 

Revenue in Shaw's largest segment, cable, grew four per cent to $825 million, while its satellite revenue rose 3.3 per cent to $218 million and media division sales grew four per cent to $307 million. 

Shaw was originally scheduled to report results on Thursday, but postponed its release in light of the CRTC's decision on Bell's $3.4 billion bid for Astral Media (TSE:ACM.A).

The regulator says BCE's (TSE:BCE) Bell must sell off 10 radio stations and 11 television channels. Shaw did not mention whether it had any interest in purchasing those assets when they become available. 

Amongst the television assets that Bell must divest are The Family Channel, Cartoon Network, Teletoon and Disney XD.

Shaw rose 69 cents to $24.63 as of 9:40 pm ET.

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