Telus delays usual dividend increase amid COVID-19 but sees growth opportunities

Telus delays usual dividend increase amid COVID-19 but sees growth opportunities

VANCOUVER — Telus Corp. won’t be raising its dividend until at least November because of the uncertain outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic, chief executive Darren Entwistle told the company’s virtual annual meeting Thursday.

His comments came after Telus announced a 19 per cent decline in first-quarter net income, which fell to $353 million, despite higher revenue compared with last year.

Entwistle, who has been CEO of Telus for most of the past 20 years, said the decision to defer the usual semi-annual increase to shareholder payments reflects the sensitivity to the impact that Telus employees and customers are feeling from the pandemic and economic downturn.

“This decision also reflects our commitment to effectively (manage) our resources to help our country and help out our fellow citizens in need as we work collectively to move past these uncertain times and into a period of economic recovery,” Entwistle said in a speech to shareholders.

The company plans to continue investing in its communications infrastructure but also achieve positive cash flow in line with its original 2020 guidance.

He added that the company hopes to provide revised guidance about its 2020 financial prospects after a board meeting in late July.

Earlier Thursday, Telus said it would maintain its quarterly dividend at 29.125 cents per share.

Telus reported its first-quarter profit fell as investments in its networks and an increase in acquisition-related accounting expenses more than offset growth in earnings from its core communications business.

Operating revenue rose by 5.4 per cent to $3.69 billion from nearly $3.51 billion.

But net income, equal to 28 cents per share, was down from $437 million or 36 cents per share in last year’s first quarter.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter fell to 32 cents per share from 38 cents per share a year ago.

Analysts had estimated Telus would have 35 cents per share of adjusted earnings with nearly $3.68 billion of revenue, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The Vancouver-based company provides internet, phone and landline video services in hard-hit Alberta, and other parts of the country. It operates one of Canada’s three national wireless networks with brands Telus, Koodo and Public Mobile.

Unlike its main wireless competitors Bell and Rogers, Telus doesn’t have a media business but it does provide technology and services to medical professionals and consumers through Telus Health and business support services through Telus International.

— by David Paddon in Toronto

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:T)

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rimbey Meals on Wheels volunteer driver Diana Pearman picks up a bin of supplies to start her week of delivering the hot meals.
photo submitted
Rimbey’s Meals on Wheels program continues to meet the need

Volunteers are always welcome to help with the long-running FCSS program

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Most Read