Time Warner Cable lost 169,000 basic video
subscribers in the second quarter, falling short of analysts' estimates and overshadowing
what in other aspects was a strong operating period for the nation's
second-largest cable operator.
Most analysts expected TWC to lose between 120,000 and
150,000 basic video subscribers in the period. And while the MSO fell short of
that mark - it was also worse that Q211 losses of 130,000 basic video customers
- it beat estimates on high-speed Internet additions - 72,000 (including 13,000
business customers) vs. consensus of about 66,000. Its 45,000 voice additions
slightly missed consensus estimated for a gain of 49,000 phone customers.
"Unfortunately, the weaker-than-last year basic video
subscriber metric takes away at least a little of the luster of TWC's otherwise
very strong report," Sanford Bernstein cable and satellite analyst Craig
Moffett wrote in a research report.
The picture was brighter on the financial side, aided by a
small (3.7%) increase in programming costs per subscriber. Revenue for the
period increased 9.3% to $5.4 billion and adjusted operating income before
depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) increased 10.3% to $2 billion, aided
primarily by the recent acquisitions of Insight
Communications and NewWave
Communications. Excluding those acquisitions, historic Time Warner Cable
revenue was up 3.1% in the period to $5.1 billion.
Time Warner Cable is scheduled to hold a conference call
with analysts to discuss second quarter results at 8:30 a.m.