Cablevision Systems Corp. stock dropped more than 7 percent Tuesday after the
company reported less-than-stellar first-quarter results and said it is
contemplating raising additional money through an equity offering.
Cablevision added that it would increase capital expenditures in 2002 to
between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion, up from the $1.1 billion it will spend in
2001. That, coupled with the possible dilution to come from an equity offering,
sent the shares down.
Cablevision stock dropped 7.3 percent Tuesday, or $4.70 per share, to close
'It's not a very liquid stock,' one Wall Street analyst said. 'The
combination of liquidity, iffy numbers, cap ex going up and telegraphing that
they might do an equity offering hurt the stock.'
Overall, revenue was up 13 percent in the quarter to $1 billion, but cash
flow rose just 2 percent to $213.6 million.
In the cable operations, revenue increased 5 percent to $474.2 million. Cash
flow rose 8 percent to $215.8 million. Cablevision added 65,000 high-speed-data
customers in the quarter, ending with 304,000 subscribers, and the MSO
reiterated its plans to deploy 100,000 digital set-top boxes in September.
Cablevision gave no details as far as the future equity offering. However,
the company did say that it will not proceed with a request by AT&T Corp. to
register about $2 billion in Cablevision shares -- with limited voting rights --
that the telephone giant owns.
AT&T requested April 5 that Cablevision register 30 million of the 49
million Cablevision shares it owns for possible future sale. With a public
registration of the shares blocked for now, that leaves the door open to a
private sale, possibly to AOL Time Warner Inc.
Cablevision vice chairman William Bell would not speculate on what AT&T
would do with the shares, but he added during a conference call with analysts
that AT&T does have the right to sell the stake to another company.
'They have the ability to sell, but it is a minority stake with little or no
voice,' Bell said.