Cablevision Systems Corp. stock got hammered Thursday after the company
reported disappointing fourth-quarter results and warned that it might have to
sell assets, debt securities or equity in 2003 to meet its capital requirements.
Cablevision shares fell almost 8 percent Thursday, or $3.06 per share, to $36 apiece after the company reported that fourth-quarter cash
flow was down 3 percent on revenue growth of 6 percent.
The company said the cash-flow decline was due to continued losses at its The
Wiz electronics retail stores, declining attendance for holiday events at its
Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden venues and expenses related to
the rollout of its digital-cable service.
Cablevision vice chairman William Bell said that although the company
believes its cash flow from operations and funds available through existing
credit facilities will allow it to meet its capital requirements, 'in 2003, we
could need to raise more capital.'
Bell said Cablevision will look at its options in the next several months,
including selling assets, debt securities, or equity.
However, he added, given the fact that Cablevision's controlling
shareholders, the Dolan family, has been loath to do equity offerings in the
past, it is unlikely they would do one now.
At the cable operations, revenue was up 9 percent in the period to $539.1
million and adjusted operating cash flow was ahead 12 percent to $220.2 million,
in line with previous guidance.
Basic-subscriber growth was up 1.6 percent to 3 million customers, mainly due
to New York-area residents who signed on for cable service after over-the-air
broadcast service was knocked out during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Cablevision added 101,000 revenue-generating units in
the quarter -- 84,000 high-speed-data customers and 17,200 digital-cable