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Charter revenues rise, losses widen in Q4

Wed, 02/28/2007 - 7:05am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

Charter Communications posted Q4 revenues of $1.41 billion, up 11.7 percent on a pro forma basis, buoyed by advanced service subscriber growth. 

Charter also recorded a loss of $396 million ($1.08 per share), versus a year-ago loss of $336 million ($1.06 per share).

The MSO said it added 162,000 revenue generating units (RGUs) during Q4, extending its total to 11.08 million.

Charter added 106,200 phone subs in the quarter, ending with 445,800. The MSO ended the quarter with 6.8 million homes passed with telephone service.

In early February 2007, Charter announced it had surpassed 500,000 telephone customers.

"With a greater inventory of telephone homes passed, our primary goal in 2007 and beyond is to drive penetration to existing home markets," said Charter EVP & COO Mike Lovett, during an earnings call with reporters and analysts. He added that over the next couple of years, the operator hopes to offer phone to substantially all homes served by plant built out to 750 MHz or greater.

Charter's success with telephone has also contributed to a surge in service bundling. Charter President & CEO Neil Smit noted in a call that the company ended 2006 with 40 percent of its customers subscribing to a service bundle, up from 30 percent a year earlier.

Charter also added 59,000 high-speed data subs, giving it 2.4 million, and signed on 40,000 digital video subs, extending that total to 2.8 million.

Charter lost 43,300 analog video customers during the period, ending the year with 5.4 million.

The operator said commercial revenues jumped 15.5 percent, to $40 million.

Charter also relayed some new data tied to its video-on-demand (VOD) strategy. Company EVP & COO Lovett said Charter now offers VOD to 75 percent of its digital customers. Aided by new content and increased consumer awareness, Charter realized a 55 percent increase in unique on-demand buyers in 2006, and a 56 percent jump in total on-demand revenues, according to Lovett.

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