Rising Earnings Lead to Higher Payout

Article Excerpt

BELL ALIANT REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS INCOME FUND $29 (Toronto symbol BA.UN; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Utilities sector; Units outstanding: 238.0 million; Market cap: $6.9 billion; SI Rating: Above average) earned $0.65 a unit in the fourth quarter of 2006, excluding unusual items stemming from the creation of Bell Aliant in July 2006. In the year-earlier quarter, Aliant Inc. earned $0.41 a share, which implies a 58.5% gain. On a pro-forma basis, which assumes the reorganization occurred at the start of 2005, revenue rose 2.0%, to $852.2 million from $835.8 million. Strong demand for wireless and high-speed Internet services offset lower local and long distance revenue. Thanks to the strong results, Bell Aliant has increased its monthly distribution 2.9%, from $0.2283 a unit to $0.235. The new annual rate of $2.82 yields 9.7%. Bell Aliant is a buy. buy…

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