Charter cuts Q1 loss

Helped by high revenue-generating user growth

Paul Allen-controlled cable operator Charter Communications narrowed its first-quarter loss as a revenue gain of 10.5% to $1.6 billion outpaced cost increases.

The loss of $358 million was down from a year-ago loss of $381 million.

"Our continued strong performance into 2008 reflects our focus and execution as we pursue the right strategies for Charter," Charter president and CEO Neil Smit said.

Charter added 302,300 net revenue-generating users. Video RGUs increased 90,900, and video average revenue per user grew 6.2%, marking the highest video RGU net adds and ARPU growth since 2003. Charter added about 102,800 digital video subs, but lost 11,900 basic cable users. Broadband Internet customers increased by about 85,700.

In a conference call Monday, management declined comment on the status of possible deal talks. In March, Charter said chairman and controlling shareholder Allen had received informal inquiries about potential investments and other deals.

Smit said Monday that Charter also continues to mull its wireless options, including possibly joining a recently announced wireless joint venture between Sprint Nextel and several cable operators.