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This article was published 10/2/2011 (3747 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
MTS will soon have the iPhone to wield as its latest weapon in the battle for the Manitoba telco market.
The Winnipeg-based telecommunications company announced on Thursday that it will launch the iPhone 4 in the coming months, part of its new suite of smartphone offerings.
The new phones will provide data download speeds up to five times faster, thanks to the new HSPA-plus network that MTS is firing up March 31.
MTS released its year-end financial results Thursday that were at the top end of its previously stated outlook.
Profit for the quarter of $8.1 million was up 20.9 per cent compared with the same period last year and profit for the year of $99.7 million was down 1.9 per cent.
Total revenue for the quarter of $444.5 million was down two per cent compared with last year and revenue for 2010 of $1.8 billion was down 1.9 per cent.
The revenue was slightly below the consensus analysts' estimate of $445 million compiled by Thomson Reuters. Earnings per share from continuing operations was 48 cents, near analysts' estimates.
MTS shares closed up a solid 61 cents or 1.96 per cent to $31.68 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Most encouraging for company officials was the continued strong growth results of its IP (Internet protocol) network services offered by its national enterprise division, Allstream.
The division reported a 9.7 per cent increase in revenue in that high-margin sector.
CEO Pierre Blouin, reiterated his contention that Allstream has "turned the corner" and he believes investors are starting to recognize the improvements.
Allstream's IP services represent 27 per cent of the division's total revenues and Blouin said the total Canadian IP business market is expected to grow by 10 to 15 per cent annually through the next few years.
Over the next few years, an average of 40 to 50 multi-tenant buildings will be connected every quarter to its IP network, Blouin said.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Jonathan Allen said the company's stock "looks expensive despite (the) improved Allstream trend" and appears "overvalued" versus its peers.
But meanwhile, the company's Manitoba operations continue to generate strong increases in its wireless and digital TV services, up 9.7 and 14.7 per cent respectively.
The launch of the new wireless network -- as a joint venture with rival Rogers -- will mean that the company's high-speed wireless data footprint will reach 97 per cent of the province.
It will also mean that regions in the province that currently do not have access to high-speed Internet land lines will soon have access to high-speed Internet on the new wireless network.
-- with files from The Canadian Press
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.