Charter reduces subscriber losses in Q2 2012

Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) said it lost 66,000 basic video subscriber losses during the second quarter, which was an improvement compared to the 79,000 subscribers that it lost this time last year.

The fourth largest U.S. cable MSO picked up 29,000 residential high-speed Internet subscribers, up from the 18,000 it added during the second quarter of 2011. It gained 6,000 phone customers, down slightly from the 7,000 voice customers it added last year.

Charter, which named former Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) COO Tom Rutledge as CEO in December, surprised analysts when it grew its basic video subscriber count by 20,000 during the first quarter. But Charter and other pay TV providers traditionally lose subscribers during the second quarter, as many customers move during the summer and college students cancel subscriptions.

Rate increases and increased sales of multi-product bundles helped drive average monthly revenue per residential customer to $106, up from $104.39 during the same period last year, Charter said. 

Charter has increased spending as it converts systems to an all-digital platform, and deploys high-definition DVRs and other advanced set-tops. It spent $468 million on property, plant and equipment during the second quarter, up from $324 million last year.

The MSO generated $1.9 billion in revenue during the second quarter, up 4.7 percent. It posted a net loss of $83 million (84 cents per share), compared to a net loss of $107 million (98 cents per share) during the second quarter of 2011.

For more:
- see the earnings release

Special Report: Cable in the second quarter of 2012

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