Charter Sub Additions Slow

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Charter Communications reported its third consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue and cash-flow growth Aug. 2, but late first-quarter rate increases and repackaging of some digital tiers led to lower than expected digital customer additions.

Charter reported revenue of $1.5 billion in the quarter, up 11%. Cash flow rose 10.9% to $539 million. In the quarter, the St. Louis-based cable operator added 60,300 high-speed data customers, up from 52,000 additions in the prior year, and 127,700 telephony customers, nearly double the 66,500 additions in the same period in 2006.

Digital subscriber additions fell below last year, with Charter adding about 8,000 digital customers compared to 23,800 last year. Charter also lost about 29,000 basic subscribers in the second quarter, about the same as in the prior year.

In a conference call with analysts, Charter CEO Neil Smit said the reason for the slowdown in adding digital customers was two-fold: Charter’s decision to reconfigure some of its digital packages and a price increase in the first quarter that mainly affected digital customers.

Charter stock was down 17 cents each to $3.38 per share last Thursday.

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