Charter Communications -- the
fourth-biggest U.S. cable operator, which recently missed out on efforts to acquire Time Warner Cable -- posted a strong revenue gain for its fourth-quarter reporting period. But investors
weren’t entirely happy.
The cable company added on 12% in revenues to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter -- helped by the recognition of its $1.6 billion acquisition of Bresnan
Broadband Holdings. Leaving out Bresnan’s results, revenue was 5% higher. Charter’s midday stock price sank 5% to $125.18.
For the fourth quarter, Charter had a net
loss of 2,000 cable video customers, but added 93,000 Internet and 56,000 voice customers.
Overall for 2013, Charter slipped 3% when it came to its cable video customers, landing at 4.18
million at year’s end, with Internet business climbing 8% to 4.38 million and voice subscribers up 10% to 2.27 million. Charter’s revenue per customer inched 2% higher to $107.97 per
Local cable advertising sales dropped nearly 18% versus the same period last year to $83 million, due to lower comparisons to a year ago, with its strong national and local political
advertising period. For the year as a whole, advertising sales declined 13.5% to $96 million.
Net income was $39 million -- a reversal of a net loss of $73 million. This came primarily from
a $4 million tax benefit versus a $75 million tax expense in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Charter conducted an eight-month takeover battle for Time Warner Cable -- pushed by its biggest
shareholder, Liberty Media Corp., which owns 27% of Charter.