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Rogers Communications Inc. and the Blue Jays are both providing a spring surprise: Rogers’ profit topped analysts’ forecasts as it signed up more wireless postpaid and internet customers and reported strong revenue growth from its media division.

Excluding one-time items, Rogers said Thursday afternoon, after markets closed, that it earned 90 cents per share, ahead of analysts’ average estimate of 75 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The earnings beat — EPS 20 per cent higher than forecast — was bigger than any in the past eight quarters. Rogers has topped expectations in seven of the previous eight periods, according to Thomson Reuters’ Eikon.

The results may mark a turning point for Rogers stock, which has bumped along over the last month of trading not far from the 52-week low of $55.63 it set March 26. The shares closed at $57.95 Thursday, up just over 1 per cent from the prior day.

Rogers said on Thursday it added 95,000 net postpaid wireless subscribers in the first three months of 2018, up by 35,000 compared with a year earlier. The Blue Jays, which Rogers owns, contributed to the 12 per cent gain in media-division revenue, analysts said.

In the U.S., earnings season shifts from financials to industrials, with several heavyweights on Friday morning’s agenda.

Industrial conglomerate General Electric Co., which has been struggling to rebound from 52-week lows in recent weeks, reports first-quarter results Friday morning. Shares advanced 2.4 per cent in Thursday trading in advance of the report.

The company reported a sharp profit decline in 2017 and is trying to woo investors with a new strategic plan for its business. Analysts expect first-quarter EPS of 11 cents, a 46 per cent year-over-year decline, on revenue of $27.45 billion. GE’s EPS has topped analysts estimates in 5 of past 8 quarters but missed past two (TR data); rev has beaten views in half of past 8 quarters, missed in half.

“We believe the run-rate of 1Q profits and messaging on 2Q/2H is likely to make it clear to anyone doing the math that consensus is a stretch,” JPMorgan analyst Steve Tusa, who rates the stock “underweight,” said in a research note.

Honeywell International Inc., which makes everything from jet engines to thermostats, is expected to report higher first-quarter profit and revenue, likely due to increased sales at its aerospace unit, its biggest business. The unit’s commercial aviation after-market division is benefiting from a rise in travel demand which is boosting sales of spare parts and services to the airline industry.

Analysts expect, on average, earnings per share of $1.90 on revenue of just over $10 billion. The company has exceeded estimates eight quarters in a row — but ever-so-slightly, with no beat greater than 2.3 per cent, according to Eikon.

Schlumberger NV is expected to report a rise in profit for the first quarter, helped by higher North America activity. Investors will watch for any impact from rail- and weather-related delays that caused rival Halliburton Co to lower its first-quarter profit forecast. Investors will also look for signs of accelerated growth in Schlumberger’s international operations that have benefited from crude prices rising above $70 a barrel.

Analysts expect, on average, EPS of 37 cents on revenue of $7.8 billion. Schlumberger, like Honeywell, has exceeded estimates in eight straight quarters, with two of the EPS beats in double-digit percentages.

Also Friday: Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes is expected to report a first-quarter profit, benefiting from higher oil prices that encouraged U.S. producers to add more rigs.

With files from Reuters

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