Charter Posts Sales in Line With Estimates on Cable-TV Gains

  • Net loss widened on costs related to TWC, Bright House deals
  • 33,000 new video subscribers caps best year in a decade

Charter Communications Inc., awaiting regulatory clearance to buy Time Warner Cable Inc., posted fourth-quarter sales that were in line with analysts’ estimates after gaining 33,000 video subscribers.

Sales rose 6.4 percent to $2.51 billion, the cable operator backed by billionaire John Malone said Thursday in a statement. Analysts had anticipated $2.52 billion on average. Net loss widened to $122 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $48 million a year earlier because of expenses related to acquiring Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks Bright House Networks LLC, a smaller cable provider.

Charter is proving that the company is still finding ways to sign up more people for pay-TV even as customers’ monthly bills rise and it faces more competition from online-streaming services. The quarterly gain came partly at the expense of its telephone rivals AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., whose TV-subscriber growth has slowed.

Investors are focused on whether regulators will approve Charter’s purchase of Time Warner Cable and Bright House, for $55.1 billion and $10.4 billion, respectively. The deals, which need the blessing of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department, would make Charter the second-largest cable and broadband provider in the U.S, with 23.9 million customers in 41 states.

Last week, Time Warner Cable posted fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as the company gained video and Internet subscribers.

  • 2015 marks the first full year in more than a decade that Charter added residential and business subscribers.
  • Average residential revenue per customers was $119.19, a 2.3 percent increase from a year earlier.
  • 115,000 residential Internet subscribers signed up, compared with analysts’ average estimate for 136,700.

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