Altice USA Swings to Third Quarter Profit, Beats Analyst Expectations

Courtesy of Altice USA
Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei

The U.S. cable provider, led by CEO Dexter Goei, saw fewer pay-TV subscriber losses during the latest quarter, especially at its Suddenlink system.

Better pay TV subscriber trends helped Altice USA on Monday to swing to a third-quarter profit.

The U.S. market's fourth-largest cable provider reported a profit of $32.6 million, or 4 cents a share, compared to a year-earlier loss of $192.6 million, or 26 cents a share. That beat by 8 cents an analyst forecast for a per-share loss of 4 cents during the latest quarter.

Altice USA's overall revenue rose 4.1 percent to $2.42 billion, in part from cable-package price increases. Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei told analysts during a conference call Monday that his company had done better than in-house forecasts in retaining cable subscribers after the recent package price hikes.

"We clearly have seen those benefits stick nicely," Goei reported. During the latest quarter, the cable provider lost 28,000 pay-TV subscribers, an improvement from a loss of 33,000 pay-TV customers during the third quarter of 2017.

Better subscriber trends came as Altice USA's Suddenlink system lost 7,000 pay-TV subscribers during the latest quarter, against a 14,000-customer reduction in the year-earlier period.

During the latest quarter, Altice USA continued to roll out Altice One, an entertainment platform that combines video, internet and connectivity across its Optimum and Suddenlink systems. The launch of Altice Mobile is set for 2019.

"We are extremely pleased to present Altice USA’s best financial performance yet, including improved subscriber trends, accelerated revenue growth, highest ever margin and material growth in free cash flow," Goei said earlier in a statement that accompanied the latest financial results.

Shares in Altice USA were up 80 cents, or nearly 5 percent to $17.50, in after-hours trading on the New York Stock Exchange.