Suddenlink Communications chairman and CEO Jerry Kent said the mid-sized MSO is not distracted by the recent M&A frenzy that has swept Wall Street in the wake of Charter Communications preliminary overtures to Time Warner Cable, telling analysts and investors that his company will stick to focusing on its core business.
“The best thing this management team can do is to focus on our operations,” Kent said on a conference call to discuss its second quarter results.”…There is a lot of speculation and talk about consolidation within the industry. I think consolidation definitely makes sense – you see broadcasters consolidating. There are economies of scale in programming costs and equipment costs. We will continue to look at select acquisitions that make strategic sense for us. We will consider what is in the best interest of our shareholders, but, frankly all the talk hasn’t changed our core philosophy of operating the business and looking just for those select strategic acquisitions.”
For the quarter, Suddenlink reported a 5.6% increase in revenue to $544 million and cash flow grew 6.8% to $211.6 million. The company lost about 22,900 basic video subscribers and shed 9,000 residential high-speed data customers in the period, while phone customers increased by 8,200 customers. Suddenlink has 1.2 million basic customers.
On the call, chief operating officer Tom McMillin said Suddenlink is focusing on improving the customer experience, launching a customer care initiative earlier this year dubbed Project Excellence. Although still in its early stages, the initiative has shown strong early results – calls to its customer care were down by more than 10% in the period and truck rolls decreased by about 8%,
“We are optimistic we can continue to drive reductions,” McMillin said.