Mediacom Reports Q1 Loss

May 5, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Cable company Mediacom Communications reported a wider first-quarter loss of $37.2 million than a year ago, as a higher tax provision and an increase in operating expenses wiped out gains from high-speed Internet subscriber growth.

The Middletown, N.Y.-based cable company with 1.4 million subscribers in mostly small towns, said a sizable chunk of the wider quarterly loss was tied to a $32.1 million tax provision and a 9 percent rise in expenses driven by the rollout of the company’s telephone business. A year ago Mediacom’s loss was $841,000, and included a $10,000 tax gain. On a per-share basis, Mediacom’s loss was 33 cents, compared with a penny a year ago. Revenue rose 9 percent to $289.3 million.

Mediacom’s quarterly numbers reflect its being among the last of the major cable operators to begin introducing a telephone product and offering subscribers a three-product bundle of television, high-speed Internet and telephone services. The company, which launched its phone service in the latter half of 2005, said it hopes to have its triple-play bundle available in all of its markets by year-end.

The company defied a broader industry trend of increasing basic-cable subscriptions by 1,000 basic-cable subscribers in the quarter. A year ago Mediacom added 3,000 basic subscribers. Digital cable subscriber growth was weak, since subscriptions rose 3,000 in the quarter, compared with the addition of 34,000 a year ago.

But while the video business languished, Mediacom’s high-speed Internet operations soared, with the company seeing a 22 percent increase in high-speed data revenue. The company said it added 26,000 high-speed data customers in the quarter, versus 25,000 additions a year earlier.

Mediacom’s phone business posted gains as well, reaching 46,000 customers in the first quarter, compared with 22,000 in the 2005 fourth quarter and zero in the year-ago period.