Katrina Dings Cox for $45.5M


Cox Communications Inc. said Thursday that rebuild costs relating to the damage to its New Orleans system from Hurricane Katrina will total about $45.5 million in the fourth quarter, according to its 10-Q quarterly financial statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cox -- which had about 270,000 cable subscribers in New Orleans before Katrina hit Aug. 29 -- said it also expected to lose about $44.9 million in revenue in the fourth quarter as a result of the hurricane.

The MSO said in the filing that it is fully insured for losses related to hurricane damage, less a $6 million deductible. It added that it wrote off the estimated net book value of property, plant and equipment in New Orleans destroyed by the hurricane to the tune of $24 million.

Cox did not release how many customers it lost as a result of the hurricane, nor did it release detailed subscriber numbers in the report.

The operator said in the filing that it has 6.2 million basic-cable subscribers, but that number is an approximation as it continues to assess the effect of population loss in New Orleans in the wake of the hurricane.

“The long-term effect of Hurricane Katrina on the population of New Orleans and, therefore, Cox’s cable systems in New Orleans remains uncertain,” the company said in the 10-Q.

For the third quarter, Cox said revenue was up 8% to $1.755 billion. Operating cash flow increased 16.5% to $681.4 million.

Cox also said in the 10-Q that St. Louis-based MSO Cebridge Connections paid $2.5 billion in cash for 940,000 Cox subscribers in six states. That deal was announced Nov. 1, and it is expected to close in the second quarter of next year.