Cox Communications Inc. chairman Jim Robbins tried to squelch speculation
that the MSO was on the hunt for acquisitions after losing out in the bidding
for AT&T Broadband, telling analysts the Atlanta-based cable operator sees
no compelling targets in the near term.
Cox was one of several MSOs that bid for AT&T Broadband last year.
Comcast Corp. was the winner with a $72 billion bid in stock and assumed debt
that was announced in December.
Since then, Cox has been rumored to be looking for a merger partner, with
Adelphia Communications Corp. seen as a likely target.
In a conference call with analysts discussing its fourth-quarter results,
Robbins said Cox is happy with its current size.
'That [AT&T Broadband] bid was driven by a unique set of circumstances,'
he said on the call. 'There simply aren't any opportunities out there right now
that present the same opportunities that AT&T did, so we have no urgency to
do any kind of a deal.'
Robbins added that Cox is concentrating on internal growth.
In the fourth quarter, Cox reported a 14 percent gain in revenue and 12
percent operating-cash-flow growth.
The company added that in 2002, it expects revenue to increase between 14
percent and 15 percent and operating cash flow to rise between 13 percent and 14
Cox also expects to buck the recent trend of slowing digital-subscriber
growth among other MSOs.
In 2002, revenue-generating units -- which include digital, high-speed-data
and phone service -- are expected to match or surpass the 1.15 million additions
reported in 2001.