U S West Media Group (UMG) reported double-digit gains in
revenue and cash flow during the first quarter, with solid growth in the MediaOne Express
high-speed-data service and surprising early strength from telephone launches.
The company, which is changing its name to MediaOne Group,
said operating cash flow rose 11.8 percent, to $693 million from $620 million in the same
period a year ago. Revenue rose 11.4 percent, to $2.34 billion from $2.1 billion. The
MediaOne MSO unit added about 8,400 subscribers in the quarter, an internal growth rate of
After pushing through January rate increases that averaged
about 9 percent, revenue per subscriber grew 8.3 percent, to $39.17 per month, as the
company reported that its churn rate actually dropped, analysts said. UMG's net loss
in the quarter rose 24 percent, to $135 million, or 24 cents per share, after $492 million
in pretax, noncash charges.
On the new-services front, MediaOne Express rose to 31,000
customers during the quarter, and the company claimed the highest cable-modem-penetration
rate in the industry. Demand for its telephone service -- launched in Atlanta and Los
the quarter -- was higher than expected, the company said.
In other earnings news last week:
USA Networks Inc.'s first-quarter cash flow rose 30
percent, to $122 million, and revenue rose 9.5 percent, to $669 million, both on a pro
forma basis, as strong performance by the USA Networks overcame softness in electronic
USA's cable networks and television-production arm
reported that cash flow rose 115 percent, to $83.9 million, and revenue rose 23 percent,
to $323.5 million, largely due to higher ad revenue from ratings gains at USA Network.
Electronic retailing, including Home Shopping Network, reported a 35 percent decline in
cash flow, as revenue dipped by about 5 percent. USA blamed a shift in buying patterns
during January and February, but it said inventory adjustments reversed the trend in March
Revenue rose 16 percent and cash flow rose 20 percent at
USA's Ticketmaster Group Inc. operation.
Viacom Inc., riding Titanic's success and
continued strength at MTV Networks, said it cut its net loss in the first quarter, while
overall revenue and cash flow grew by single digits. The net loss was $14 million, or 4
cents per share, versus a net loss
of $34 million (10 cents) a year ago. Revenue rose about 6
percent, to $3.1 billion, and cash flow rose 3 percent, to $406 million.
Cash flow at Viacom's Entertainment Group, including
Paramount, rose 21 percent, to $153.4 million. MTVN's cash flow rose 17 percent,
thanks to double-digit advertising-sales growth, and Showtime Networks Inc.'s cash
flow rose 11 percent.