Cablevision Posts 1Q Loss as Costs Increase

Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC) swung to a first-quarter loss amid higher costs and declining cable-television revenue.

The cable television operator, which said it continues to rebound from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, has undergone restructuring by spinning off AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) in 2011 and agreeing to sell its western U.S. cable systems, Optimum West, to Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) for roughly $1.6 billion in cash. Cablevision also announced last month a deal to sell most of its Clearview Cinemas movie theaters to Bow Tie Cinemas.

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In the latest period, the Bethpage, N.Y.-based company saw a $16.1 million loss, or 6 cents a share, versus a profit of $57.2 million, or 24 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 0.8% to $1.52 billion, as cable television revenue slipped 0.7% on higher programming and employee costs.

Analysts expected per-share earnings of 4 cents on revenue of $1.55 billion. Operating margin narrowed to 6% from 16%.

Cablevision said it added 5,200 customer relationships in the period, while its high-speed data and voice segments each gained 22,800 customers.

Average monthly cable television revenue per video customer rose to $156.34 compared to $154.28 a year earlier.

The company anticipates a positive impact in the current quarter from an improved advertising outlook, Cablevision President and Chief Executive James Dolan said in a statement.

Shares were trading 7.3% lower at $14.34 Thursday afternoon.