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Cablevision profits up, miss estimate

Cablevision offices in Bethpage.

Cablevision offices in Bethpage. Photo Credit: Bloomberg News, 2005

Cablevision Systems Corp., the fifth- largest U.S. cable provider, Tuesday reported profit rose 44 percent but missed analysts’ estimates after the company lost video subscribers.

Net income rose to $87.8 million, or 31 cents a share, from $60.9 million, or 20 cents, a year earlier, the Bethpage-based company said Tuesday in a statement. Analysts predicted earnings, excluding some costs, of 40 cents a share, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Cablevision competes in about 40 percent of its coverage area with Verizon Communications Inc. for television, phone and Internet subscribers, according to John Tinker, an analyst at Maxim Group  in Manhattan. Promotions from Verizon in the quarter, including an offer for a free DVR for life, may have caused more defections from Cablevision.

“Verizon is becoming very aggressive on the promotional side,” Tinker said. “We’re in a tougher economic environment and competition is biting.”

Cablevision lost 23,000 video customers, after gaining 75,900 a year earlier. Jason Bazinet, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., had estimated the total number would be little changed.

Sales rose 9.1 percent to $1.69 billion, trailing analysts’ average estimate of $1.8 billion. The second quarter was the last in which Cablevision will get revenue from Rainbow Media, renamed AMC Networks Inc. and spun off as a public company June 30. Cablevision owns Newsday and newsday.com.

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