In the midst of fending off
a takeover bid, Time Warner Cable posted higher profits in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Time Warner Cable grew 5.3% in net profit to $540 million during the period, with company-wide revenue
inching up 1.7% to $5.58 billion.
The company gained 14% in broadband revenues to $1.5 billion and 20% in business services to $616 million. Time Warner added 39,000 residential high-speed
data subscriptions, 18,000 combined business services customers, and 1,000 residential voice subscribers.
At the same time, Time Warner Cable lost another significant amount of video
subscribers during the period -- down 217,000 video customers to end 2013 with 11.2 million video subscribers.
In the third quarter, Time Warner Cable dropped a massive 306,000-plus
video customers -- in part because of its high-profile carriage fee battle with CBS. Time Warner Cable and other cable operators are continually challenged by higher programming costs -- as well as
fewer video subscribers.
Video subscriber revenues still represent the bulk of the company’s business: $10.5 billion for 2013; broadband revenues are next at $5.8 billion; with voice
business at $2.03 billion.
Local cable advertising sales was down 11.2% to $278 million in the period and off 3.2% to $1.02 billion for the full year 2013. The decline was mainly due to
lower political advertising revenue. Political advertising revenue was $7 million and $28 million in the fourth quarter and full year 2013, compared to $60 million and $114 million for the fourth
quarter and full year 2012.
Midday trading witnessed Time Warner Cable’s stock 1.2% higher to $133.65.
When asked about a possible takeover offer from Charter
Communications, Time Warner Cable chief executive officer Rob Marcus, in the earnings call, reiterated the company is only interested in an offer above $160 per share. Charter had offered a $132.50
bid, rejected by Time Warner Cable in early January.