Cablevision Narrows Loss

May 3, 2007  •  Post A Comment

A day after announcing that it has accepted a bid to be acquired by its founding family, Cablevision Systems Corp., said it narrowed its first-quarter loss.
On the company’s earnings conference call Thursday, Cablevision president and CEO James Dolan said he would not answer questions regarding the $36 a share buyout offer.
“We were very happy to reach an agreement with the company,” said Mr. Dolan, whose father Charles Dolan founded the company. He acknowledged that analysts and investors had questions about the offer, saying, “We will be available to answer those questions at an appropriate time.”
Cablevision lost $26.3 million, or 9 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared to a $58 million, or 20 cents a share, loss a year ago. Revenues rose to $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion.
The company said that while it is feeling some effects of competition from the rollout of Verizon’s Fios service, it still notched its 12th consecutive quarter of basic video subscriber gains and also increased its digital video, high-speed data and telephone subscriber numbers. Revenue per subscriber was up 1.4 percent to $116.95.
Cablevision’s Rainbow programming unit posted operating income of $15.8 million, compared to a loss last year. Revenues rose 11.4 percent to $230 million. Ad revenues gained 16.2 percent, driven principally by higher ad sales at AMC, the company said.
“Cablevision’s solid Q1 results at once highlight why the Dolans remain so eager to take the company private, and at the same time why it may be hard to do so for only the proposed $36,” said Craig Moffett, VP and senior analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. He said that as cash flow increases after a long period of capital investment, public shareholders may be unwilling to sell at the proposed price.
“Once again, Cablevision-or at least, the Dolans-may prove to be victims of their own success.”
(Editor: Baumann)


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