Hurricanes Slow Mediacom’s 3Q

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Mediacom Communications Corp. reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter results Wednesday, with revenue up just 5.3% to $275 million and operating income before depreciation and amortization growing a sluggish 1.5% to $100 million, mainly due to the effects of recent hurricanes in the South.

The MSO also lost 17,000 basic subscribers during the quarter, 9,000 of which can be attributed to damage from Hurricanes Dennis and Katrina.

Mediacom added 22,000 digital-cable customers, 27,000 high-speed-Internet subscribers and 2,000 telephone customers. The operator launched its cable-telephone service in June, and it now has about 8,000 customers.

The company said the hurricanes disrupted service in its systems in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi and resulted in a $1.5 million reduction in revenue and a $2.3 million reduction in OIBDA. Capital expenditures were up by $4.1 million as a result of the hurricanes, the operator added.

Mediacom provided new full-year guidance as a result. Revenue is expected to be about the same, at $1.1 billion, but OIBDA will fall to about $408 million (instead of previous estimated of $415 million-$425 million) and capital expenditures will rise to $228 million (instead of previous estimates of $215 million-$225 million).

Dennis and Katrina are the second and third hurricanes to impact Mediacom’s financial results. Last year, the MSO weathered damage from Hurricane Ivan, which also hit parts of Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

“Together, the three hurricanes have not only affected our operating results, but have also taken away for the near-term some of the Gulf Coast’s organic growth potential,” Mediacom chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso said in a prepared statement.

“We are confident that the region will recover even stronger and Mediacom will be there rebuilding our network to better serve these communities,” he added.