Mediacom Has Solid Q1


High-speed data additions continued to rule the day for cable operators in the first quarter, with strong HSD additions offsetting continued video customer losses at Mediacom Communications in the period.
Mediacom reported 3.1% revenue growth to $368.7 million and adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization of $138.3 million, up 3%. Free cash flow was $30.8 million, up 3.7% from $29.7 million in the previous year.
The mid-sized operator added 26,000 high-speed data customer and 13,000 phone customers in the quarter, offsetting a loss of 4,000 basic subscribers. That soundly beat analyst expectations - the data adds were twice the 13,000 Citigroup media analyst Jason Bazinet predicted for the company. Mediacom also outpaced Bazinet's estimate of 10,000 telephony customer additions. The MSO added 21,000 digital customers in the period.
On a conference call with analysts, executive vice president of operations John Pascarelli said the MSO is moving forward with its plans to reclaim bandwidth for its network. In about 70% of its footprint, all new video customers will be all-digital, he said, via its digital simulcasting efforts
"This will accelerate our ability to shut down the analog offering in each of these markets attend reuse the bandwidth," Pascarelli said.
The move will also free up enough space to expand Mediacom's HD offering to 75 channels from its current 50 channels by the end of the year. Pascarelli said that the MSO also has DOCSIS 3.0 available to about 25% of its footprint currently and will expand that offering to 50% of its territory in the second half of this year.