Time Warner Cable charts path while rebuffing Charter

Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:29am EST
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By Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Time Warner Cable Inc, trying to fend off a takeover bid, posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday and said it aims to increase the company's sales while also investing more in its technology over the next three years.

Shares rose $1.39 or 1 percent, to $133.49 per share.

"We are geared up to manage this company for the long haul," said CEO Rob Marcus, in his first conference call since he took over on January 1.

When asked about Charter's $132.50 rejected bid earlier in January, Marcus reiterated that Time Warner Cable is only interested in an offer above $160 per share, and would be "willing to engage" if a deal drives more shareholder value than the company can create on its own.

"We said the price it would take to transact would be $160 and this is specific to Charter, $100 in cash, $60 in Charter stock," Marcus added.

The company, which is trying to convince investors it can do a better job at operating its business than its suitor Charter Communications Inc, unveiled a plan aimed at improving the company's spotty customer service and investing more in its technology.

Time Warner Cable said it would increase annual capital expenditures to $3.7 billion to $3.8 billion over the next three years, which should allow the company to improve its cable systems, invest in infrastructure and replace older equipment.

Macquarie analyst Amy Yong said this capital investment is 5 to 10 percent above her own estimates and said it will help Time Warner Cable speed up plans to upgrade its cable systems.   Continued...

A Time Warner Cable installation van is shown in Palm Springs, California January 29, 2014. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich