Shaw suspends share buybacks amid economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 impact

Shaw suspends share buybacks amid economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 impact

CALGARY — Shaw Communications Inc. says it’s continuing to pay dividends to shareholders but has suspended its share buy-back program in order to preserve cash during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Calgary-based company says its Shaw internet and video networks and Freedom wireless network have performed well during the unprecedented global pandemic.

But it says the widespread economic impact of COVID-19 could make it more difficult for its customers to continue with their current level of services.

Additionally, Shaw says its management has been focused on adapting the company’s operations while protecting the health of its employees and customers.

As a result, Shaw says it’s withdrawing its financial estimates for the financial year ending Aug. 31 and suspending any additional stock buybacks.

During the fiscal second quarter ended Feb. 29, which was completed before the pandemic was officially announced, Shaw’s revenue and profit were up from a year earlier.

Shaw delivers internet and video services through Western Canada’s the largest residential cable system. It also owns Freedom Mobile, which operates in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2020.

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The Canadian Press