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Cablevision iced by hockey halt

Wed, 05/04/2005 - 8:00pm
Scott Moritz

Copyright 2005 TheStreet.com, Inc.

TheStreet.com

May 5, 2005 Thursday 10:46 AM Eastern Time

Hockey woes were a drag on Cablevision's (CVC:NYSE) first-quarter numbers, but guidance remains unchanged.

The Bethpage, N.Y., cable shop posted a first-quarter loss of $119 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $1.21 billion. Those numbers compare with a 42-cent loss on $1.15 billion in revenue in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had been looking for sales of $1.3 billion.

Despite the top-line miss, Cablevision said adjusted operating cash flow, or AOCF, rose 30% from a year ago to $354 million. The company posted solid gains in its core and growth areas including cable TV, Internet and phone service.

Basic cable subscribers grew 1.4% from last year, and digital users grew 54% in the same period. Broadband cable modem customers increased by 28% from last year, and cable phone customers increased fourfold to 364,000 in one year.

"Cablevision had a strong start to 2005 with solid gains in consolidated net revenues, operating income and adjusted operating cash flow, fueled largely by impressive revenue growth in the company's core cable operations," CEO Jim Dolan said in a press release.

The company said the cancellation of the NHL season had a negative impact on its income during the quarter. Cablevision owns hockey's New York Rangers and the Madison Square Garden arena and sports cable network.

But the company stuck with its 2005 financial projections calling for mid- to high-single-digit percentage growth in sales and adjusted operating income.

Early Thursday, Cablevision slipped a nickel to $26.95.

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