• Knology grows revenue, subs in Q1
By Brian Santo
Knology had a modest increase in revenue, but it still reported a net loss in its first quarter of 2009.
The company added a total of 8,752 connections during the first quarter. Data, video and voice connections grew 5,199, 2,555 and 998, respectively. The company had a total tally of 685,546 connections as of the end of the quarter.
Revenue was up 3.3 percent from last year’s first quarter, to $104.7 million for the first quarter of 2009. The company’s net loss was $2.3 million, compared with a $2.1 million loss in the immediately previous fourth quarter, and compared with a $3.2 million loss in the first quarter of 2008. Capital investment was $14.9 million in the quarter, dead even with the $14.9 million spent on capex in the same period last year.
• Broadband fuels SureWest’s Q1 revenues
By Mike Robuck
Roseville, Calif.-based SureWest Communications’ first-quarter revenues were $60.9 million, which was a 19 percent year-over-year increase.
SureWest said one of the reasons for the 19 percent increase was the first full quarter of operations in its Kansas City market, which the company bought last year from Everest Broadband. SureWest’s bottom line was also buoyed by its broadband growth in its Sacramento and Kansas City footprints.
SureWest, a triple-play service provider, saw its broadband business revenue grow by 21 percent year-over-year, while its residential broadband increased 12 percent over the same time frame. The revenue gains on the broadband side of the ledger were partially offset by an 11 percent decline in telecom revenue. SureWest’s net income also benefited from the sale of 52 wireless towers to Global Tower Partners for $9.2 million earlier this year.
• Shaw jumpstarts 3-D in Canada
By Traci Patterson
Shaw Communications in Canada, with the help of Corus Entertainment, is introducing what it says will be the largest offering of 3-D TV in Canada. The launch is set for this summer.
Shaw Video-on-Demand and Corus’ Movie Central will roll out a range of ongoing 3-D content – feature films, family programming, sports, concert events and specials – directly into customers’ homes. Shaw said that it will provide free “red and blue” 3-D glasses to all of its subscribers.
“We are convinced that 3-D is the next big breakthrough for enhancing the in-home entertainment experience, and we are committed to developing the content and advancing the technology to support this,” said Jim Shaw, CEO and vice chair of Shaw Communications. “With the recent success of 3-D theatrical films at the box office, and with an expanding lineup of live action and animated 3-D content in the works, there is clearly a growing excitement and appetite for 3-D entertainment, and Shaw is at the forefront of this innovation.”
• Verizon shareholders endorse execs' pay packages
By The Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Verizon Communications’ shareholders have overwhelmingly endorsed the pay package for its top executives. Even a leading critic of the compensation – Bill Jones of the Association of BellTel Retirees – says the 90 percent vote in favor of the package shows most shareholders are pleased with the direction of the communications company.
The "say on pay" vote was announced during the company's annual meeting Thursday in Louisville, Ky. During a questions and answer session with shareholders, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said he was pleased that most shareholders decided that the compensation package is "competitively priced."
Seidenberg says New York-based Verizon has outperformed the broader market in recent years. Calculations by The Associated Press have valued Seidenberg's compensation at $20.2 million in 2008.
• Cable repairman in crane basket hurt in carjacking
By The Associated Press
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Police say a Pasadena, Calif., cable repairman working high in his truck's crane basket was severely injured when a carjacker jumped inside the vehicle and drove away.
The crane slammed into trees and power lines before the Charter Communications worker fell more than 20 feet to the ground early Tuesday. Police spokeswoman Janet Pope Givens says the repairman, whose name is being withheld, is hospitalized in serious condition. He is expected to survive.
The truck hijacker was arrested several blocks away. Givens says 21-year-old Edwin Ramos of Pasadena has been booked at the Pasadena jail.
• Hitachi expects bigger annual loss
By Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer
TOKYO (AP) – Japanese electronics maker Hitachi Ltd. said Thursday its loss for the fiscal year ended March will be bigger than its previous forecast, ballooning to 788 billion yen ($8 billion) after writing down the value of tax refunds it expects. Hitachi had already been expecting its worst ever net loss of 700 billion yen as a global slump squelches demand.
Hitachi said that it was forecasting a bigger loss because the global slowdown will result in its business being smaller, and the tax refunds it had factored into its books would also be smaller.
Hitachi also lowered its sales forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31 to 10 trillion yen from the previous projection of 10.02 trillion yen. Hitachi reports earnings Tuesday.
Hitachi, which has already announced it will slash 7,000 jobs, or nearly 2 percent of its global work force, had a 58.1 billion yen loss and 11.2 trillion in sales for the previous fiscal year ending March 2008.