Cable One reports narrow revenue and HSD gains, continues to ditch video and employees

Cable One reported a 1 percent uptick in fourth-quarter revenue to $203.1 million, as the Phoenix, Ariz.-based mid-sized MSO continues to migrate its priorities away from residential video and phone service and toward residential and business high-speed Internet. 

The company reported an 8.2 percent decline in residential video services revenue in the quarter, and a 16.2 percent decline in residential voice revenue. For the year, Cable One lost 86,491 video customers, nearly 20 percent of its base

Revenue from residential broadband services, however, increased by 14.2 percent. Business services customers increased nearly 11 percent for 2015, but residential broadband subscribers were only up 2.5 percent to about 461,000. 

"Our 2012 pivot away from residential video services is starting to yield regular rewards," Cable One CEO Thomas Might told investors during Thursday conference call.  

Might, however, conceded that a $10 price increase for residential video, instituted in February 2015, as well as a $5 increase in residential broadband prices put in place last October, impacted quarterly and full-year results.

Also influential has been the steady decline of Cable One's work force, which has declined by about 400 heads — or 17 percent — since 2012. This has all been through attrition and not layoffs, Might said. 

The CEO was asked, in baseball terms, by analyst Craig Moffett where Cable One stood in its transformation from video services to connectivity provider — the "third or fourth inning" or the "sixth or seventh inning."

"I'm not going to predict what our subscriber numbers are going to be going forward," Might said. "You can see where the trend lines are. We're not at equilibrium yet." 

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