Time Warner Cable's outgoing chairman and CEO Glenn Britt
went silent about halfway through the MSO's second-quarter earnings conference
call with analysts Thursday morning, but investors managed to make their own
noise, sending the stock up by 3% in early trading in what some analysts are
calling a cry for the nation's second largest MSO to be acquired.
Britt, who has been battling a case of laryngitis that dates
at least back to the company's announcement
on July 25 that he would retire at the end of the year, couldn't make it
through the Question and Answer portion of the call before his voice gave out,
deferring to his eventual replacement, current chief operating officer Rob
Marcus. And while Marcus did an admirable job in trying to explain the MSO's
performance, the numbers more than spoke for themselves.
TWC missed practically every operational target for the
period. Basic video losses at 189,000 topped last year's mark of 169,000 and
were above analysts' consensus estimates of a decline of 175,000. Most
troubling to some, however, was the fall off in high-speed data customer
additions. TWC added just 21,000 HSD customers in the period, less than half
the 59,000 added in the second quarter of 2012 and well below consensus of
55,000 additions. The MSO also lost 56,000 phone customers, compared to a gain
of 45,000 voice customers in the prior year.