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Charter’s Q1 revenues driven by phone, broadband

Mon, 05/12/2008 - 8:35am
Mike Robuck

Charter Communications posted a 9.8 percent increase in first quarter earnings that were released today, which were largely driven by increased revenue from its broadband and digital phone services.

Charter’s revenue for the first quarter ended March 31 was $1.56 billion compared to 2007 first quarter revenue of $1.43 billion. The nation’s third largest cable operator saw its telephone revenue almost double in the quarter from $63 million a year ago to $121 million.

The company’s revenue from high-speed Internet services increased 11.6 percent to $328 million from $294 million during the same quarter a year ago.

"Our continued strong performance into 2008 reflects our focus and execution as we pursue the right strategies for Charter, including driving bundled penetration and targeting our operating and capital investments toward the projects with the highest expected returns,” said Charter president and CEO Neil Smit.

Charter’s net loss for the first quarter was $358 million, or 97 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $381 million, or 1.04 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected a loss of 75 cents per share on revenue of $1.55 billion for the quarter.

Charter said the decrease in the loss was partially related to adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) that were the result of higher revenue generating units (RGUs) and increased average revenue per subscriber per basic customer.

Total average revenue per user (ARPU) for the quarter increased 13.4 percent year-over-year due to increased sales of Charter’s bundle, advanced services growth and rate adjustments. Revenue generating units increased 7 percent year-over-year, with 302,300 net additions during the first quarter of 2008, primarily driven by the growth in broadband and phone customers.

At the end of the first quarter, Charter served approximately 5,598,800 customers and the company's 12,084,400 RGUs were comprised of 5,208,000 basic video, 3,023,200 digital video, 2,768,200 broadband, and 1,085,000 telephone customers.

Charter’s digital video customers increased by approximately 102,800 subscribers while basic video customers decreased by 11,900.

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