Cox Sees New Growth


San Diego-Cox Communications Inc. told a group of investors and analysts it expects to boost new-service subscribers by 20 percent and to grow revenue by 13 percent to 15 percent this year.

At Cox's annual investor conference here last Thursday, executive vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer Jimmy Hayes said he expected new-service subscribers to reach between 1.5 million and 1.6 million by the end of 2000. The company had previously expected to finish the year at 1.3 million.

"We expect the exceptional growth we achieved with new-service subscriptions during the first quarter of 2000 to continue throughout the year as we continue to ready our operations to further accelerate the deployment of advanced services," Hayes said in a prepared statement.

Cox currently provides digital-cable service in 16 markets; residential high-speed Internet services in 18 markets; residential local and long-distance phone service in eight markets; and commercial voice and high-speed-data services in eight markets.

Hayes added that revenue should grow by 13 percent to 15 percent this year and operating cash flow should increase between 11 percent and 13 percent.

Cox said that because increased spending for staffing and marketing will continue through the middle of this year, a large portion of the increase should come in the third and fourth quarters.

Cox also plans to conduct a video-on-demand trial here in the third quarter, with about 2,000 local residents. It added that an interactive-television-service trial here is planned in the second half of the year.

Deployment of VOD services for other customers here and in additional Cox markets is expected later this year and next year.

"We see vast opportunities to leverage our network to generate incremental revenue by delivering new services like video-on-demand and interactive TV," Cox vice president of technology development Chris Bowick said in a prepared statement.

Cox's stock price was up $1.13, or 2.5 percent, to $45.25 in afternoon trading last Thursday.