TiVo Sheds Subscribers Again, But Wall Street Is Impressed With Quarterly Results

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Tom Rogers

The DVR pioneer loses $20 million, but partnerships with several cable TV providers are beginning to bear fruit.

TiVo reported a wider quarterly loss and shed more subscribers who ditched their brand-name boxes in favor of generic models, but financial results topped expectations and the stock rose as much as 8 percent after the closing bell Wednesday.

TiVo lost 456,000 subscribers, ending its fiscal second quarter with 1.9 million, but for the first time in many quarters the company added subscribers through its partnerships with cable providers.

The DVR pioneer has been losing subscribers ever since a relationship with DirecTV went south several years ago. It has since struck a new deal with DirecTV and added Comcast as a partner, but those partnerships have been stuck in neutral for years. Deals with smaller cable companies in the U.S and foreign markets, though, have begun to bear fruit.

CEO Tom Rogers said Wednesday in TiVo’s earnings release that DirecTV is “progressing towards launch” but he made no mention of Comcast. A spokeswoman said there was “just nothing to report.”

The company reported a loss of $20 million compared with a loss of $15 million in the year-ago quarter, though revenue advanced 19 percent to $61.2 million.

TiVo ended the quarter with $628 million in cash, courtesy of a $300 million payment from Dish Network that settled a patent dispute in the prior quarter, and on Wednesday Rogers said TiVo will put some of that cash to use via a $100 million stock repurchase plan. Rogers said the stock -- which sunk 2 percent to $8.12 Wednesday -- is “trading at unusually depressed levels.”

Similar to the way it pursued Dish, Tivo is suing AT&T and Verizon for patent infringement.