Cablevision reports rise in quarterly revenue

Cablevision Systems Corp. headquarters in Bethpage on Nov.

Cablevision Systems Corp. headquarters in Bethpage on Nov. 19, 2010. (Credit: Bloomberg News)

Cablevision Systems Corp. reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue as more advertising and higher cable subscription rates offset the impact of a fall in the number of video, or television, customers.

The Bethpage-based company, which owns Newsday, said Thursday that average monthly cable revenue per customer rose 6 percent to $148.22 in the first quarter ended March 31.

Revenue from cable advertising grew 16.8 percent.

Adjusted operating cash flow, Cablevision's most closely watched metric, rose 24.8 percent, while capital expenditure fell 20 percent.

"It looks like the business has stabilized. They have made their investment in shoring up their service profile, and now the spending is coming down," Brean Capital analyst Todd Mitchell said.

He said the drop in capital expenditure was the "most positive dynamic" he saw in the results.

Cablevision, however, lost about 14,000 video subscribers, more than the 7,700 customers analysts were expecting, according to research firm StreetAccount.

The cable company has been losing subscribers as it has cut down on discounts and promotions to customers switching providers, often for better deals.

Cablevision has the largest exposure to Verizon Communications Inc.'s pay TV service, which has been taking customers away from cable companies in recent years with aggressive pricing and promotions.

Cablevision posted first-quarter net income of $89.8 million, or 33 cents per share, attributable to shareholders compared with a loss of $16.1 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4.3 percent to $1.58 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.56 billion.

Cablevision's shares slipped 1 cent to close at $16.55 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

-- Reuters

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