TWC slows subscriber drain, sees broadband jump
Time Warner Cable lost approximately 94,000 basic video customers in the first quarter of 2012, a heavier-than-expected loss for the No. 2 cable MSO in the United States but still an improvement of a year earlier.
Nonetheless, broadband and business services made up for the losses, and revenue grew 6.4% to $5.1 billion.
The cableco kicked off the earnings season for the segment, for which analysts expect to see a continued but slowing drain on basic video, and growth in broadband. TWC played into that, adding 214,000 residential high speed Internet customers in the quarter (compared to 177,000 additions last year).
"Time Warner Cable's first quarter results reflect continued strong performance, and residential Internet and business services were standouts," TWC Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt said in the earnings release. "Now that we have closed the Insight acquisition, our increased cash flow is available to fuel further investments in the business and capital returns to our shareholders."
When it comes to competition, AT&T's U-verse is available in a quarter of the TWC footprint, and Verizon's FiOS is available at around 11%.
"We're continuing to see a very favorable mix shift towards higher speeds, and we're taking shares -- share from the telcos,' said Britt. "In fact, this quarter, we had more broadband net adds than Verizon and AT&T combined."
Cable has been continuing to suffer in the basic video game, losing subscribers quarter over quarter. However, the bleeding appears to be halting its slide a bit. Cable as a category posted a net loss of around 341,000 subscribers for the fourth quarter of 2011, down from 511,000 the year previous. Time Warner Cable specifically is showing improvement, considering the 129,000 video customers that it lost during the fourth quarter of 2010.