Time Warner Cable Inc., awaiting approval to be acquired by Charter Communications Inc., posted third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as it gained more residential high-speed Internet customers.
Profit excluding some items was $1.62 a share, the New York-based cable company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts predicted $1.55 a share, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales gained 3.6 percent to $5.92 billion, compared with projections for $5.96 billion.
Regulators are weighing whether to approve Charter’s $55.1 billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable, which, along with Charter’s pending purchase of Bright House Networks LLC, would create the country’s second-largest cable and broadband provider with 23.9 million customers. In April, Comcast Corp. dropped its $45.2 billion takeover bid for Time Warner Cable in the face of regulatory opposition.
As the number of Americans paying for cable TV declines, Time Warner Cable has responded by offering cheaper bundles of cable, Internet and phone service and invested in its broadband network as younger viewers increasingly stream TV shows on the Web.
Time Warner Cable lost 7,000 video subscribers and gained 232,000 Internet customers in the quarter. Two analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted the company would lose 113,000 TV subscribers on average and gain 146,000 Internet users.
Selling high-speed Internet service, especially to business customers, has been a main source of growth for cable operators as TV subscriptions fall. Like other cable companies, Time Warner Cable and Charter face rising costs for programming, particularly live sports, and pressure from online-streaming TV services like Netflix Inc. and Hulu that give consumers cheaper entertainment options.
At the start of the year, Time Warner Cable customers had a $2.75 monthly charge added to their bills to cover sports programming costs.