Altice USA Q4 Revenue Inches Up, Broadband 11% Higher, Cable TV Down 6%

Altice USA -- the sixth-biggest U.S. pay TV provider and broadband company -- saw its revenues inch up 0.8% in the fourth quarter to $2.5 billion.

In after-market trading on Wednesday, the company’s stock was down 5% to around $28.00 a share.

While broadband revenue continues to rise -- up 11% to $826.5 million in the period -- video revenues at its cable operations continue to slip, down 6% to $969.0 million.

Net video subscriber losses widened in the period, down 44,000 subscribers from 14,200 in the year-ago period.

For the year, overall video subscribers were down 3.3% (106,900) in its fiscal year 2019 to 3.2 million subscribers, slightly worse that the 2.9% decrease seen in fiscal-year 2018.

Looking at all residential consumer relationships -- broadband, landline phone, and video -- revenues per customer were down slightly -- 0.4% -- to $142.65 in the fourth quarter of 2019. But for the year of 2019 overall, revenue was up 1.3% to an average $143.98 versus 2018.



In contrast, broadband subscribers grew 7,000 from the third quarter and were 2% higher for the year overall (71,900) to 4.2 million subscribers.

Altice’s news programming and local advertising revenue operators were down 9% to $148.7 million. Taking out comparisons to the higher political advertising revenues in the fourth quarter of 2018, revenue was up 10%.

Altice's nascent mobile phone business -- started up late last year -- recorded $18.1 million in its fourth quarter.

Jeffrey Wlodarczak, entertainment/interactive subscription services analyst at Pivotal Research Group, believes continued demand for its growing broadband business, as well as its new mobile phone service, makes Altice, a New York area based cable operation, a highly value business that could be sold to a bigger cable TV operation: 

"We continue to believe that Altice is a very logical acquisition candidate for Charter [Communications] or Comcast to get at the top per capita income market in the country, with healthy synergies." Adding that "Altice remains the cheapest U.S. stock in our coverage list."

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