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Charter up on swing to profit

Sun, 11/02/2003 - 7:00pm
Staff

Copyright 2003 MarketWatch.com Inc., All Rights Reserved

CBS MarketWatch

November 3, 2003 Monday 10:17 AM

Chicago (CBS.MW)—Shares of Charter Communications got a bounce early Monday after the broadband communications company's swing to profit on an increase in revenue, gains on debt exchange, and hedging.

Before the bell, Charter reported earnings of $36 million, or 7 cents a share, compared to a loss of $167 million and 57 cents per share a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, Charter lost 35 cents a share, better than the 39-cent loss consensus estimate of analysts polled by Reuters Research.

Total revenue rose 3.5 percent to $1.21 billion, amid a 59 percent increase in high-speed data revenue. Shares of Charter (CHTR) gained 1.4 percent to $4.33 on the early going.

Two other cable/broadband providers were headed in different directions as Cox (COX) added 19 cents to $34.26 and Comcast (CMCSK) dropped a penny to $32.48.

Among the conglomerates, Time Warner (TWX) gained 1.6 percent to $15.55 while News Corp. (NWS) added 18 cents to $35.83 and Viacom (VIA), a significant shareholder in the publisher of this report, edged up 26 cents to $40.10.

Disney (DIS) had the top two flicks at a slumping box office over the weekend. The company's "Scary Movie 3" brought in about $21.1 million for a total of $78.6 million since it premiered 10 days ago, according to studio estimates. Coming in second with $18.5 million was "Brother Bear," which it released on Saturday so as not to have to compete with Halloween horror films.

Overall, the take was much lower than the comparable weekend one year ago, as the top 12 movies brought in $91.9 million, down 9 percent from last year's Halloween weekend.

Shares of Disney added to $22.87 and a 52-week high.

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