Charter Communications First-Quarter Loss Narrows

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Cable operator Charter Communications, in which John Malone's Liberty Media recently acquired a 27.3 percent stake, continues to improve its financials under the leadership of CEO Tom Rutledge.

The company on Tuesday reported a narrowed first-quarter loss of $42 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $94 million.

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Revenue grew 4.9 percent to $1.9 billion, driven by growth in video services revenue and broadband and commercial customers.

Charter's total residential customer relationships grew by 56,000 during the first quarter. Expanded basic video customers grew by 4,000, but other basic customers declined by 28,000. The overall drop of 24,000 left Charter with 3.97 million video subscribers at the end of March.

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Charter also added 99,000 residential broadband customers, down from 141,000 in the year-ago period, and 59,000 telephony users, up from 31,000 in the year-ago quarter.

"Less than a year ago, we implemented a new strategy that substantially changed the way that Charter does business," said Rutledge, a former COO at Cablevision Systems. "While we still have more work to do, significant progress is evident in our first-quarter results."

He added: "Our new operating strategies are having a positive impact on our customers, employees and the underlying fundamentals of our business. Our two-way, interactive, high capacity network offers significant competitive advantages, and our strategy is to fully leverage those benefits to drive improved product and service delivery, operating performance, and revenue and free cash flow growth."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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