Bloomfield Hills, Mich. -- Despite a slight increase in the
fourth quarter, James Cable Partners L.P. reported a 3 percent dip in cash flow for the
The company, which has about 85,000 subscribers in rural
areas across the country, had fourth-quarter revenue of $9.6 million, up about 6 percent
from the previous year -- mainly from rate increases.
Cash flow (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortization, also known as EBITDA) was $3.8 million, a 2 percent increase from the
same period in 1997.
For the year, James Cable's revenue was $37.8 million,
up 6 percent from 1997. Cash flow during the period was $15.4 million.
Dan Shoemaker, James Cable's chief financial officer,
said the added costs of launching a high-speed Internet service caused the negative cash
flow. Shoemaker said the Internet venture affected cash flow by about $260,000 in 1998.
However, the service -- which provides both dial-up and
high-speed cable-modem access -- is now available to about 40 percent of James
Cable's subscriber base. The company now has about 2,000 Internet customers, up from
44 in 1997.
Cable subscriber growth was relatively flat, due to the
sale of one system and the acquisition of another similar system.
James sold its Wartburg, Tenn., system, which has about
9,500 subscribers, to Rapid Communications Partners for $14.7 million earlier in March. In
December, the company acquired systems with about 6,600 subscribers in several small
Tennessee towns from Fannon Cable TV Inc. for $7.7 million.