New York -- Charter Communications Inc. revised its third-quarter guidance
downward after the market closed Tuesday due to continued subscriber losses.
Chief financial officer Kent Kalkwarf, speaking at the Goldman Sachs &
Co. 'Communacopia' conference here, said revenue growth in the period would be
about 13 percent -- at the low end of its previous guidance range -- and the MSO
would miss earlier targets of 14 percent cash-flow growth for the period.
Charter had expected revenue of between $1.19 billion and $1.2 billion, or
between 13 percent and 14.6 percent growth in the third quarter.
The company also predicted earlier that cash flow would rise between 14
percent and 16 percent in the period. 'I don't believe we will hit 14 percent
[cash-flow growth],' Kalkwarf said at the conference.
In a prepared statement, Charter said cash-flow growth would be about 13.7
percent in the period.
Charter attributed the decline to analog-subscriber losses, but it did not
quantify them. In the second quarter, the MSO lost about 42,500 basic
In 4 p.m. trading Tuesday, Charter shares were up 12 cents to $2 per share.
However, the stock declined in after-hours trading to $1.70 per share as of 6:26
In other conference news, The Walt Disney Co. chairman Michael Eisner said
the company has had discussions concerning joining its ABC News division with
Cable News Network, but speculation that the two operations would be combined is
'very, very premature.' He added that the odds that a deal would happen would be
50-50 at best.
But Eisner, also speaking at the Goldman Sachs conference, said combining ABC
News and CNN would fit in with Disney's horizontal structure, where the
management in charge of its broadcast properties is also responsible for its
corresponding cable unit.
For example, management in charge of its Disney Channel and Toon Disney cable
channels are also responsible for ABC's Saturday-morning kids' programming; the
executives in charge of ABC's daytime programming also run its SoapNet channel;
and those in charge of ABC's primetime programming run ABC Family.
Regarding ABC Family, Eisner said that looking back, Disney probably paid
more for the network than it would pay today. But he added that since the
purchase, ABC Family has shown substantial growth, including a double-digit rise
in households and significant improvement across all demographics.
'All arrows are pointing in the right direction,' he added.