Cablevision 1Q Profit Up on Web, Phone Subs

Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) weighed in Thursday with a 40% leap in first-quarter profits as the cable provider benefited from slightly stronger-than-expected revenue and a 2010 acquisition.

Bethpage, N.Y.-based Cablevision said it earned $104.1 million, or 36 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $74.2 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for stronger EPS of 41 cents.

Cablevision, which is controlled by the Dolan family, increased 9.7% to $1.92 billion, narrowly surpassing the $1.91 billion Wall Street had been expecting.

Cablevision’s figures were boosted a bit by its $1.37 billion buyout last December of Rocky Mountain cable provider Bresnan Communications.

“This performance was driven by steady growth in our Rainbow business as well as our cable business, which this quarter included a solid showing from the recently acquired Bresnan properties,”

CEO James Dolan said in a statement.

Cablevision said its cable television revenues rose 10.7% to $1.487 billion last quarter, boosting its bottom line by 6.4%.

Total customers at Cablevision totaled 3.66 million last quarter, compared with 3.65 million at the end of 2010. Video customers fell to 3.306 million from 3.314 million, while high-speed data customers rose to 2.927 million from 2.895 million.

Dolan also said Cablevision remains “on track” with its planned spin-off of its Rainbow division, which includes AMC, WE tv, IFC and Sundance Channel. Rainbow’s revenues jumped 9.9% last quarter to $272.9 million.

Cablevision’s stock barely moved in the wake of the results, slipping 0.26% to $35.18 ahead of the opening bell. The shares have soared more than 30% from a year ago.