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Subs up at Cox, EarthLink

Mon, 10/28/2002 - 7:00pm
Susan Rush

Quarterly sales at both Cox Communications Inc. and EarthLink Inc. got a boost by a gain in high-speed subscribers.

Cox posted third-quarter revenue of $1.28 billion, an 18 percent increase over the $1.08 billion posted a year ago. During the quarter, the company added 157,300 high-speed Internet customers, 71,900 digital cable subscribers and 73,000 cable telephony users.

"We added more than 12,000 new Internet subscribers per week during the third quarter of 2002 and now have nearly 1.3 million high-speed Internet customers," said Cox's Chief Executive and President Jim Robbins in a prepared statement.

Despite the bump in revenue and subscribers, Cox recorded a net loss of $73.1 million, or 12 cents a share, compared to net income of $143 million, or 23 cents a share in the comparable quarter a year earlier.

As of 11:58 a.m. EST, Cox shares were losing 6 percent of their value, trading at $28.25.

Separately, EarthLink narrowed its third-quarter loss and increased its revenue. The ISP recorded revenue of $340.7 million, up 6.8 percent from a year ago. Revenue from the ISP's broadband sector increased 47.5 percent compared with the prior quarter. The sector posted revenue of $66.6 million, which represents 19.5 percent of EarthLink's total revenue.

Its net loss narrowed from $84.4 million, or 62 cents a share in Q3 2001 to $30.1 million, or 20 cents a share.

An increase in broadband subscribers offset a decline in dial-up customers. During the quarter, EarthLink added 77,000 broadband customers. Its narrowband subscriber base decreased by 5.2 percent to roughly 4 million.

Looking ahead, EarthLink expects to meet Wall Street's full-year expectations. The company is forecasting revenue in the range of $1.35 billion to $1.37 billion. Analysts on average are calling for 2002 revenue of $1.36 billion, according to Thomson First Call.

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