Improvements at Rogers Communications Causes Shares to Rise

Nov. 4.08 | About: Rogers Communications (RCI)

Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RCI) shares climbed Monday following reports that founder and CEO Ted Rogers was showing signs of recovery.

The stock was up more than 2% or C$0.76 to C$35.75 just before 10 a.m. ET on the first day of trading after Mr. Rogers was admitted to a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, on Friday for an existing heart condition.

The 75-year-old has relinquished his responsibilities, giving way to Rogers chairman Alan Horn. "The length of Mr. Rogers' leave will be determined by his overall health and medical progress," the company said Friday in a statement.

Rogers shares may also be moving on news that the company is set to relaunch its Fido wireless brand Tuesday at the start of the company's fourth quarter period. As originally reported in Monday's Financial Post, the relaunch is said to offer no system access fees [SAF], lower monthly rates and an expanded product lineup.

Geniuty Capital Markets analyst Dvai Ghose said the elimination of a SAF will result in a potential annual revenue and EBITDA hit of approximately C$125-million or about 4% Rogers' 2008E and 2009E EBITDA.

In addition, the removal of SAF could stimulate Fido’s postpaid subscriber growth,

Mr. Ghose said:

However, if the removal of SAF is only one of the price reductions that Fido will announce tomorrow, the hit could be greater. It could also impact future ARPU and EBITDA assumptions. While the initial hit may not be overly material, we do not  believe that the street has reflected Fido reprice in Rogers estimates.