Charter Sheds More Video Subscribers

Charter Communications Inc. 's residential video subscriber base melted down by another 64,800 customers in the third quarter.

The news was better for cable modem services, as Charter added 53,200 residential Internet customers, more than the 45,000 analysts were expecting. The company said nearly 95 percent of its Internet subs are signed on to a plan with downstream speeds of 12 Mbit/s or greater, with 12 percent taking Charter's home networking service. Another bright spot is commercial services, which saw revenues rise 17.5 percent.

But there's increasing concern on the telephony front. Charter signed up just 11,000 new voice subs in the third quarter, down 64 percent from a year ago and 12,000 fewer than what analysts were expecting.

"Charter confirmed that the slowdown was a direct result of wireless substitution," ISI Group Inc. Senior Managing Director Vijay Jayant wrote in a note issued Tuesday. Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) reported losing voice subs for the first time when it issued third-quarter numbers last week. (See TW Cable Sheds Video and Voice Subs .)

Charter reported a loss of US$85 million, or 79 cents a share, on revenues of $1.81 billion. This compares with a loss of $95 million, or 84 cents a share, on revenues of $1.76 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts were expecting revenues of $1.8 billion and a loss of 15 cents per share.

Charter shares were up 61 cents (1.33 percent) to $46.55 each in morning trading Tuesday.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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