Moody's Investors Service lowered its ratings on $22 billion of Charter
Communications Inc. debt Monday, citing concerns over the company's poor
Moody's lowered Charter Communications Holdings LLC one notch to 'B3'; cut
the parent's convertible senior debt two notches to 'Caa2' from 'B3'; and
downgraded Charter bank debt.
It said more downgrades are possible.
Last week, Charter stock took a pounding after it revealed that it had placed
chief operating officer David Barford on paid leave in connection with a federal
grand-jury investigation into its accounting practices that began in August.
Later that same week, Charter released disappointing preliminary
third-quarter financial results, including a loss of 85,000 basic-video
subscribers, which further hurt the stock.
In a press release, Moody's said those results -- operating-cash-flow growth
of 8.7 percent and revenue growth of 12.6 percent -- were disappointing.
Charter is expected to release its full third-quarter results Nov. 5.
'Today's interim rating actions are intended to represent our belief that the
negative operating trends and broader risks facing the company are greater than
we previously thought and may not be imminently reversed and/or mitigated,'
Moody's said in a prepared statement.
Charter stock was down 5.6 percent, or 7 cents per
share, in 4 p.m. trading Monday to $1.18 each. The stock closed Tuesday at $1.04, down nearly another 12 percent.