Charter Communications Narrows 1Q Loss on Higher Revenue


Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) reported a smaller first-quarter loss amid improved video and Internet revenue, while the cable provider continued to see weak telephone revenue.

The company’s loss was $42 million, or 42 cents a share, versus a $94 million loss, or 95 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting worse, projecting a loss of 61 cents a share.

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Total revenue climbed 4.9% to $1.92 billion, just beating calls for $1.9 billion. Operating expense grew 6.1%.

The video segment, Charter’s largest top-line contributor, posted revenue growth of 6.8% to $956 million. Internet revenue rose 11%, while commercial revenue was up 20%. Telephone revenue slipped 21%.

The company also said it expects its all-digital rollout to be completed by the end of 2014. According to Charter Communications, the initiative will allow the company to offer more content and faster Internet speeds. The transition has already started in some markets, including Texas.

“Less than a year ago, we implemented a new strategy that substantially changed the way that Charter does business. While we still have more work to do, significant progress is evident in our first quarter results,” President and CEO Tom Rutledge said in a statement.

Charter Communications has been busy on the transaction front this year.

Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ:LMCA), headed by Chairman John Malone, agreed in March to buy 27.3% of Charter Communications in a $2.62 billion deal that was completed this month. It was Liberty Media’s first big investment in a cable operator in the continental U.S. since 1999, when he sold Tele-Communications to AT&T (NYSE:T) for $48 billion.

In February, Charter Communications bought Cablevision’s (NYSE:CVC) western U.S. cable systems, Optimum West, for roughly $1.6 billion in cash, allowing the company to continue its focus on small and mid-sized communities.

Shares were trading about 4.2% higher at $109.43 Tuesday morning.