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TELUS (TU) Boosts Investment in Alberta to Add Capacity

Zacks Equity Research

TELUS Corporation TU yesterday stated that it is accelerating capital investments from its previously-announced C$16-billion investment in Alberta to support the province during the coronavirus pandemonium. The Canada-based communications service provider intends to prepone certain capital investments that were initially planned for 2021 to this year. As a result, TELUS’ aggregate investment in network infrastructure and operations in the province in 2020 now increases to almost C$3.5 billion.

The company will expand its PureFibre and high-speed Internet network to 282,000 homes and businesses across Alberta. This, in turn, will generate more jobs for the citizens of Alberta. Between 2020 and 2021, TELUS will invest C$950 million to bring PureFibre to 12 more Alberta communities, connecting more than 245,000 homes as well as businesses to its gigabit-enabled fiber optic network.

It will also invest C$85 million to bring 37,000 more rural Alberta households high-speed Internet through enhanced wireless services in 2020. By the end of 2021, 99.3% of families in Alberta will have Internet access; 99.7% of the citizens will be covered by TELUS’ 4G LTE network and 98% of citizens will have 5G, including 119 rural municipalities and 34 indigenous communities.

TELUS is committed toward keeping residents safe and connected during this crisis, as it delivers high-speed broadband Internet at home for C$9.95 a month. The company is providing low-income families with access to the Internet and digital literacy training tools. Earlier, this program was available to only those who were receiving the maximum Child Care Benefit from the federal government.

Between 2000 and 2019, TELUS invested more than C$49 billion in technology and operations in Alberta. Within the next two years, TELUS plans to offer direct fiber access to 93% of Greater Quebec City and Eastern Quebec residents. The company is working to generate subscriber growth in its key growth segments, including wireless, high-speed Internet and TELUS TV. Increasing demand for reliable access and fast-data services are expected to support customer additions. TELUS Health and TELUS International are also likely to continue contributing to its growth profile.

On Feb 4, TELUS and its global unit — TELUS International — officially closed the acquisition of Competence Call Center (“CCC”). TELUS International currently holds a 100% interest in CCC. The combined business has an expanded portfolio of customer experience, digital transformation, content moderation, IT lifecycle, advisory and digital consulting, risk management as well as back-office support that will enable new go-to-market opportunities and drive growth.

TELUS’ shares have lost 14% compared with 19.2% decline of the industry in the past three months.

TELUS currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader sector are Ooma, Inc. OOMA, Turtle Beach Corporation HEAR and Plantronics, Inc. PLT. While Ooma sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Turtle Beach and Plantronics carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Ooma has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 124%, on average.

Turtle Beach has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 112.5%, on average.

Plantronics has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 27.7%, on average. The company’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters.

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