Getting Friendly with Telus

Telus Corporation (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU), a Canadian cell phone service provider, launched in Alberta as Telus Communications in  1990, is one of Canada’s major cell phone and communications services provider.  The company was first set up as a holding company when the Alberta Government Telephones Commission was being privatized.  In 1999, Telus Communications and BCTel merged to create Telus Corporation, and the company is now based in Burnaby, British Columbia.  Currently, the company provides services which include cellular phones and Internet and is at the present time one of the only two Canadian providers (as of the end of March, 2009) selling the Blackberry Storm, RIM’s first touch-screen device. 

Telus’s advertising is known to be nature-based, featuring a variety of different animals, including groundhogs, fish,  ducks and monkeys.  That, along with its tagline, “The Future is Friendly” as well as colours (purple and green), was adapted when Telus acquired ClearNET in 1999. 

Of course, the company is not without controversy.  The Holiday 2005 campaign, for example, used a song called “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” featuring a hippo from the Vancouver zoo.  Unfortunately, the zoo was later charged with animal cruelty for the way it treated the featured hippo, and Telus had to pledged $10,000 to build a habitat for her.  More recent controversies include their pay-per-download pornography sales as well as their $0.15 charge on all incoming text messages for people without a text plan.  The Canadian government later said that it wasn’t their job to regulate these issues.

In addition to the main company, Telus Corporation also runs a discount subsidiary called Koodo, which uses the tab method for their subsidized phones.  Its advertising is also very different from the parent company.  Rather than using animals, they are parodies of excercise informercials.

On Tuesday, March 31, Telus Corporation opened on the TSX  (T (aka T.TO)) at 34.92 and closed at 34.68.  Its 52-week highs and lows were between 48.87 and 30.63.   Listing as T-A, Telus opened at 33.23 and closed at 33.01.  The 52-week highs and lows were between 38.10 and 17.96.  On the NYSE, Telus opened at 26.82 and closed at 26.36.  The 52-week highs and lows were 47.89 and 22.46.