Paul Allen’s Charter Communications reported last week that it swung to a steep third-quarter loss as the debt-laden cable company booked charges related to the reduced value of certain systems. The company warned that it will need additional funding to pay back debt maturing in 2005 and 2006.
St. Louis-based Charter booked a loss of $3.3 billion, compared with a year-earlier profit of $37 million. The numbers reflected a $2.3 billion impairment charge booked to reflect lower projected growth of certain cable systems and an 8 percent increase to $777 million for operating costs and expenses.
At the same time, Charter reported an 8 percent increase in revenue to $1.3 billion, which came as the company added 108,500 high-speed data customers. The company also reported growth in high-definition television and telephony subscriptions and reversed a second-quarter decline in digital cable subscriptions by adding 38,700 new customers in the third quarter.
However, the company saw the number of basic analog cable subscribers shrink by 58,000 in the quarter, continuing a trend that has taken place for the past three quarters.