High Speed Delivers Fourth-Quarter Gains


Cable's earnings season kicks into high gear over the next few weeks, and CS First Boston cable analyst Lara Warner expects high-speed data to drive the sector's fourth-quarter growth. In a report, Warner wrote that data accounts for 60 percent to 100 percent of cable's cash flow, and said she expects high-speed data subscriber growth to be in line with third-quarter additions. Only Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. are expected to show material changes. Basic-subscriber losses for the sector should decline to about 143,000 in the period, compared to 261,000 in the third quarter. Digital cable will follow the year-to-date trend of about 25 percent decline in customers compared to 2001. Sequentially, she expects digital additions to drop 3 percent in the quarter.