Insight Gets Optimistic on Guidance


Insight Communications Co. Inc. released financial guidance for 2004 that indicates that the company believes it is ready to turn the corner after a dismal 2003.

Insight said in a prepared statement that it expects revenue to rise between 10%-11% in 2004 and operating cash flow to grow between 10%-11%. In October, Insight revised its 2003 guidance downward to between 7.5%-8%.

Capital expenditures in 2004 are expected to be about $185 million, versus about $200 million for 2003. Insight also said it expects to generate about $50 million in free cash flow (cash flow after interest payments and capital expenditures are made) next year.

In a research report, Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc. cable analyst Ted Henderson said the guidance was in line with his estimates.

"A return to double-digit cash-flow growth in 2004, coupled with free-cash-flow generation, supports our view that recent weakness in Insight (down 35% since July 2003) is overdone," Henderson wrote. "This provides an attractive entry point for cable investors."

Investors appeared pleased, driving Insight stock up 67 cents per share (7.5%) to $9.59 each in 4 p.m. trading Thursday.