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BELL ALIANT

Bell Aliant Inc. says it had $70-million of net income in the fourth quarter, a $10-million decline from the same period of 2011 and well short of analyst estimates.

For the final three months of 2012, Bell Aliant's net income equalled 31 cents per share before adjustments, or 37 cents per share on an adjusted basis.

The results missed analyst estimates by four cents per share.

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A year earlier, Bell Aliant had $80-million of net income, equalling 35 cents per share before adjustments, or 42 cents per share on an adjusted basis.

The regional telecom company's operating revenue was also down, slipping 0.8 per cent to $695-million from $701-million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Analysts had expected slightly higher revenue in the latest quarter – about $697-million, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The publicly traded subsidiary of BCE Inc. says it expects to spend somewhat less on capital expenditures in 2013 while profit and revenue remain in about the same ranges as last year.

Bell Alliance's guidance calls for between $2.73-billion and $2.81-billion of revenue in 2013, compared with $2.76-billion in 2012.

It also expects $1.45 to $1.75 of adjusted earnings per share for the full year, compared with $1.63 for 2012.

Capital expenditures in 2013 are expected to be reduced to between $525-million and $575-million from $592-million last year.

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