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TW Cable Sheds Video Subs, Gains in Broadband

Jeff Baumgartner

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s video subscriber base shrunk by 129,000 in the fourth quarter, but a strong showing for its broadband services, now considered the company's "anchor" offering, helped the MSO beat Wall Street estimates. (See TWC: Broadband Becoming 'Anchor Service'.)

The MSO's fourth-quarter video losses narrowed from the 141,000 it lost in the year-ago quarter, but TW Cable added 117,000 high-speed Internet subs, beating the 83,000 it signed in the same period a year ago. It also added 37,000 voice customers, erasing the 8,000 it lost in the third quarter, but coming in lower than the 61,000 it added in the year-ago period.

On the financial front, the MSO posted a profit of US$564 million ($1.75 per share) on revenues of $5 billion. Earnings, up 44 percent year-on-year, beat the $1.20 per share in earnings forecast by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters , who also expected revenues of $4.97 billion.

Business services were again a bright spot, as TW Cable pulled in $409 million, up from $298 million a year ago. The MSO ended 2011 with $1.46 million in revenues in the category. (See US Cable Firms to Bank $6B in Biz Services.)

TW Cable, which is in the process of buying Insight Communications Co. Inc. for $3 billion, also announced a $4 billion stock buyback program Thursday. (See TW Cable Buys Insight for $3B.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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