August 4, 2015 / 12:35 PM / in 2 years

Charter Communications revenue beats as it adds more Internet users

(Reuters) - U.S. cable company Charter Communications Inc CHTR.O reported a slightly higher-than-expected quarterly revenue as addition of more Internet subscribers offset the impact of a fall in its video customers.

Charter Communications President and CEO Tom Rutledge in an undated photo. REUTERS/Handout

The company added 70,000 Internet subscribers in the second quarter ended June 30, up about 43 percent from a year earlier.

Charter’s shares rose as much as 2.6 percent on Tuesday, reversing course.

Revenue from the company’s Internet business, its second largest, rose 16.5 percent to $743 million, accounting for about a third of its total revenue.

JP Morgan analysts had expected Charter to add 60,000 Internet subscribers in the quarter.

“ ... Charter’s broadband speeds and bundled offerings are providing good value and are serving to retain customers,” Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Jayant wrote in a note.

Last year, Charter transitioned to a fully-digital platform to transmit data and content, which helped it provide faster Internet to customers.

However, the company continued to lose customers in its video business, its largest, with net residential video customer losses rising to 33,000 from 29,000.

Cable companies have been struggling with declining subscriber numbers as viewers shift to cheaper and more flexible streaming services offered by Netflix Inc NFLX.O, Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O, Hulu and others.

Charter’s net loss widened to $122 million, or $1.09 per share, from $45 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier, due to costs related to debt extinguishment and the failed deal between Comcast Corp CMCSA.O and Time Warner Cable Inc TWC.N.

Charter’s deal to buy some assets of Time Warner Cable fell through after U.S. regulators refused to clear Comcast’s $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable.

Charter took a $128 million loss on debt extinguishment and $45 million in costs related to the Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks LLC deals.

Revenue rose 7.6 percent to $2.43 billion.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $2.42 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Charter said in May that it would buy Time Warner Cable in a cash-and-stock deal, which values Time Warner Cable at $78.7 billion. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Charter shares were up 1.5 percent at $190.19 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

Reporting by Lehar Maan, Ankit Ajmera and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Kirti Pandey

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