Altice USA Continues to Drive Results at Cable, Telecom Giant

Altice CEO Dexter Goei Getty - H 2016
Courtesy of Getty Images

"Altice in the U.S. continues to build momentum," says Dexter Goei, CEO of the U.S. business, which includes the former Cablevision and a big stake in Suddenlink.

Altice Group, the European cable and telecom giant that last year acquired Cablevision Systems and also controls smaller U.S. cable operator Suddenlink, on Thursday reported third-quarter financials, driven by its U.S. operations.

Altice's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the profitability metric the company uses, for the period increased 4.2 percent to €2.36 billion ($2.75 billion) on a 0.3 percent revenue gain, assuming constant currencies, to €5.76 billion ($6.71 billion).

Altice USA, which went public earlier this year and is led by CEO Dexter Goei, posted adjusted EBITDA of $1.04 billion, up 18.9 percent assuming local currencies. Revenue of $2.33 billion was up 3.2 percent, assuming constant currencies. 

Suddenlink lost 6,000 pay TV subscribers in the latest quarter after gaining 8,000 in the year-ago period, while Optimum lost 2,000, compared with a 9,000 drop in the year-ago period. Video trends improved with business-to-consumer pay TV revenue generating units losses of 33,000, down from losses of 40,000 in the year-ago period, driven by a better performance at Optimum.

"Altice in the U.S. continues to build momentum," said Goei in a statement. In the former Cablevision markets, now using the Optimum brand, "we have a high amount of movers in the third quarter, and in the Suddenlink footprint, we often have quite a bit of activity in terms of university towns," he explained. Meanwhile, hurricanes had a "very minimal" effect on the business, he added.

"Revenue growth and margin expansion for Altice Group are currently being driven by the strong performance of Altice USA," said Altice CEO Michel Combes. The launch of new home entertainment hub Altice One "is just the beginning of a new, better and simple experience for our customers as we look to become the connected home provider of choice," he added.

Altice has said it is in no hurry to pull the trigger on any new U.S. cable asset acquisitions, such as a recently rumored offer for Charter Communications, the second-biggest U.S. cable operator. "We want to be open-minded about M&A," Goei said earlier this year. "We'll be patient."