Time Warner Cable Shares Drop On Talk Of Subscriber Declines


Time Warner Cable stock took another hit Wednesday after its chairman and CEO Glenn Britt reiterated that it would likely have a third-quarter overall subscriber deficit.
Time Warner shares were down as much as $1.68 each (3.2%) to $50.98 per share on Sept. 22, before rebounding slightly to finish the day at $51.10 per share, down $1.56 each or 3%.
Britt, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York, was trying to downplay remarks made last week at another industry conference by Time Warner Cable chief financial officer Rob Marcus, adding that while the second-largest MSO in the country may report a decline in overall subscribers in the third quarter, it was directly related to the economy.
At the Goldman conference, Britt stressed that subscriber growth was not about to "fall off a cliff," but added that the weakness in video, voice and data customer growth was tied to the economy, specifically the decline in new housing growth.
"People are increasingly living in multi-family arrangements," Britt said. "We sell to households. If a house is vacant, there is nothing we can do to sell to a vacant house," Britt said.
Last week at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment conference in Newport Beach, Calif., Marcus warned that Time Warner Cable would likely post negative Primary Service Unit (a combination of basic video, voice and data customers) in the third quarter. That comment led to a 5% decline ($2.47 each) in Time Warner Cable shares on Sept. 15 to $52.43 per share.