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Shaw Communications profit up, subscribers fall

Shaw Communications (SJR.B-T) posted a 22-percent rise in third-quarter profit on strength at its main cable business and said it expects moderate revenue growth in its cable and satellite segments for the year.

Net income from continuing operations rose to $248 million, or 53 cents per share, from $203 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue remained flat at $1.28 billion. Revenue from its cable segment rose 1.1 percent to $794 million.

Analysts on an average expected Shaw to earn 44 cents a share on revenue of $1.31 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shaw lost 21,515 basic cable subscribers in the quarter, but added 246 digital cable customers. Digital phone lines increased by 29,142 to 1,339,559 during the quarter.

Calgary-based Shaw, the dominant cable company in western Canada, competes with a resurgent telecom rival in Telus Corp (T-T), which is pushing out an Internet-based television product to win over Shaw's customers.

Shaw had reacted with a string of discounts, but is now easing back on promotions to retain its pricing power.

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