Hurricane Sandy had a strong downward effect on Cablevision System's fourth-quarter financial results.
The Long Island, N.Y.- based cable operator group lost customers and revenues, and put the company into a net loss for its operations for the period. Cablevision's stock was down almost 9% to $14.11 a share.
Fourth-quarter net revenues dropped 1.6% to $1.7 billion, with the company posting a net loss from continuing operations of $83.7 million -- this against a fourth-quarter 2011 net profit from continuing operations of $60.5 million.
But overall net income from the company was $116.5 million -- all this from a $200.3 million gain Cablevision recognized from its settlement from a Dish Network lawsuit, one that gave Cablevision and AMC Networks a $700 million overall result.
As with other cable and TV outlets, fourth-quarter advertising revenues rose sharply during the period -- nearly 18% for Cablevision to $48 million. Many TV stations and cable operators gained from higher political advertising. Video revenues dropped to $835 million from $874 million; Internet revenue was up to $340 million from $337 million; phone/voice revenue sank to $223 million from $227 million.
Sandy had an effect on Cablevision's customer base when looking at the end of September and the end of December. The total number of customer "relationships" dropped some 39,000 to 3.601 million due to the fall October storm that caused billions in damage to the East Coast markets. (Many customers buy different combinations of video, phone, and Internet services). Video customers were at 3.2 million, while Internet customers were at 3.1 million and phone customers were at 2.4 million.
Year-to-year, however, was a different story -- 7,000 Internet customers were added and 1,000 phone customers. As has been its trend over the last several years, the number of video customers was flat versus the fourth quarter of 2011.