Adelphia Communications Corp. stock was down nearly 7 percent Monday after
the company reported sluggish cash flow growth in the fourth quarter, driven
down in part because of increased expenditures for plant upgrades and an
aggressive digital rollout.
Adelphia stock closed at $37.69 per share Monday, down $2.81 each, or 6.9
percent, after the company reported cash flow growth was just 4.1 percent to
$317.6 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Revenue was up 7.4 percent
to $710.3 million for the period.
This despite aggressive growth in digital cable and high-speed data service
for the period. Adelphia added 380,000 digital subscribers in the quarter to end
the year with 904,000 digital customers. The company also added 43,500
high-speed data customers in the quarter, finishing with 148,500
'If you're going to miss your [cash flow] numbers, this is a very high-class
miss,' said Banc of America Securities Corp. analyst Doug Shapiro. 'They're
putting up digital additions that are on par with the fastest pace in the
industry. The high-speed data business also is accelerating - they're already on
track to beat the consensus expectation for the end of the year right now.'
Adelphia's chief financial officer Tim Rigas told analysts in a conference
call that Adelphia expects to have about 1.6 million digital subscribers by the
end of 2001. High-speed data customers should grow to 373,500 by year-end.
Basic subscriber growth was about 1.3 percent for the quarter to 5.5 million