Cox Cash Flow Rises 10%


Strong growth in telephony and high-speed data helped push Cox Communications Inc.'s first-quarter operating cash flow up 10 percent, even as digital-cable growth slowed.

Revenue at Cox rose 12 percent, to $947.9 million. Operating cash flow was $358 million for the period.

Big gains in telephony — up 48,000, to finish with 293,000 customers — and high-speed data — another 105,000 additions, ending with 587,000 — helped drive the growth.

Penetration rates for telephony were 11 percent in the period, with some markets — such as Orange County, Calif. — approaching 40 percent.

With new revenue generating units rising by 271,000, to 1.8 million, Cox CEO Jim Robbins said the company was on track to meet goals of 11 percent to 12 percent second-quarter cash flow growth.

Cox's bundling strategy also seems to be paying off, as 750,000 customers took at least two of its products at the end of the period.

Digital-cable growth slowed slightly. Cox ended the quarter with 961,000 digital subscribers, up by 119,000. In the fourth quarter, Cox added about 159,000 digital customers.

Cox blamed seasonal disconnects and said overall digital growth should be back on track in future quarters.