Charter Sales in Line With Estimates Amid Video User Gains

  • Cable operator added 10,000 video customers in first quarter
  • Video, Internet subscriber gains topped analysts' projections

Charter Communications Inc., which is nearing regulatory approval to buy Time Warner Cable Inc., posted first-quarter sales in line with analysts’ estimates after adding video subscribers.

Sales rose 7.1 percent to $2.53 billion, the cable operator backed by billionaire John Malone said Thursday in a statement. Analysts had anticipated $2.535 billion, the average of projections compiled by Bloomberg. A net loss of $188 million, or $1.68 a share, widened from a loss of $81 million, or 73 cents, in the year-earlier quarter, mostly because of costs related to the acquisition, Charter said.

The results bolster Charter’s strategy as it prepares to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks LLC, a smaller cable provider. Earlier this week, Charter won U.S. antitrust approval for its $55 billion takeover of the companies after agreeing not to thwart online video competitors. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, which must also give a green light on the deal, said this week he supports the merger. If approved, Charter would become the second-largest U.S. cable provider, behind Comcast Corp., gaining 13 million customers in cities from New York to Los Angeles and Dallas.

Charter is trying to find 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 company said it gained 10,000 video subscribers. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted Charter would add 3,200, the average of five estimates.

  • Average monthly residential revenue per customers was $111.04, a 1.4 percent increase from a year earlier.
  • 141,000 residential Internet subscribers signed up, compared with analysts’ average estimate for 125,400.
  • Sales of TV and Internet to small and medium-sized businesses rose 11 percent to $202 million. 

TIme Warner Cable also reported first-quarter profit Thursday that topped analysts’ estimates as it added video and high-speed Internet customers.

Comcast, which reported results on Wednesday, posted its biggest first-quarter increase in cable-TV subscribers in nine years.

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