Reporting results for the first quarter, the company said on
Thursday it lost 34,000 video subscribers on a net basis, fewer than
the 77,300 Wall Street analysts were expecting.
It also added 269,000 Internet subscribers — the most since the
first quarter of 2008. Analysts had expected the company to add
179,300 subscribers, according to StreetAccount.
The company, which agreed to be acquired by Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O>
for $45.2 billion, is coming off several quarters where it shed
hundreds of thousands of video subscribers.
It earlier reported it lost 217,000 video subscribers in the fourth
quarter of last year, which was an improvement from the third
quarter when it lost more than 300,000 subscribers.
In January, the company said it would increase annual capital
expenditures to $3.7 billion to $3.8 billion over the next three
years, which should allow the company to improve its cable systems,
invest in infrastructure and replace older equipment.
Most cable companies have been shedding video subscribers for the
past few years, losing them to satellite and telecom rivals as well
as newer Web-based entrants such as Netflix Inc <NFLX.O>.
"Optimists will argue with some justification that there is nothing
here so dire that time, or Comcast, can't fix," said
MoffettNathanson Research analyst Craig Moffett.
Comcast said on Tuesday it added a better-than-expected 24,000 video
subscribers in the quarter as well as 383,000 Internet subscribers.
Regarding the Comcast deal, Time Warner CEO Rob Marcus said "the
regulatory approval process is going very much as planned and the
integration planning process is going even better than expected."
Marcus also said the company will have to look at "new business
models ... resulting from anything the FCC might do."
[to top of second column]
U.S. Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing new
rules that could give broadband providers to strike "commercially
reasonable deals" with media and content companies to deliver
traffic to users faster.
Analysts say this could potentially be a windfall for companies that
provide Internet service such as Time Warner Cable.
Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar said in a research note that
"tiered broadband pricing at both ends of the broadband pipe could
become real sooner than we expected" which could generate additional
revenues for Internet service providers.
Time Warner Cable's quarterly profit jumped 19.5 percent to $479
million, or $1.70 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31.
Excluding items, earnings were $1.78 per share, topping the
analysts' estimate of $1.68 per share, according to Thomson Reuters
Revenue rose 2 percent to $5.58 billion. Analysts were expecting
Time Warner Cable shares rose 0.3 percent to $40.25 on Thursday.
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker, Aurindom Mukherjee and Soham
Chatterjee; editing by Joyjeet Das, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and W
Simon; additional reportng by Aurindom Mukherjee and Soham Chatterjeea; editing by Joyjeet Das, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and W Simon)
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