Rogers Communications to Boost Alberta Investment
One of Canada’s leading diversified communications and media companies, Rogers Communications, Inc. (NYSE: RCI – $43.00), announced a planned investment of over C$700 million in Alberta over the next four years. Starting this year, Rogers will further upgrade and expand its wireless network throughout the province, open additional retail locations, sponsor the Edmonton Oilers and further increase its contributions to local communities and youth initiatives. This four-year commitment follows a decade long growth strategy that has seen Rogers invest over C$1 billion in network enhancements and expansions across the province. Albertans spend more on voice and data plans than subscribers in any other part of the country, making the province a key battleground as Canada’s established cell phone companies try to find new customers in a highly competitive market. Separately, Rogers is launching Rogers Alerts™ , a new location-based mobile app that allows its wireless customers to access personalized location-based offers from their favorite retailers on their smartphone. Some of the initial participating retailers include Sears Canada, Future Shop, Pizza Hut, A&W and Second Cup. RCI shares are off their lows following the prospect that Verizon will enter the Canadian market, which it has now decided against. But the threat is not over yet since favorable government regulations are still in place, which might attract other incumbents to take advantage of the lower wireless penetration rate. Nonetheless, the shares at current levels present an interesting entry point and the dividend is well covered at a yield of 3.9%.