Earnings: Time Warner Cable Shed 306K Video Customers Amid CBS Dispute, But Beats Earnings Expectations

CEO Ted Britt, battling cancer, says the company is in good hands

Time Warner Cable shed 306,000 video customers in the third quarter that included its month-long standoff with CBS, but beat earnings estimates.

Time Warner Cable chairman-CEO Glenn Britt (pictured), who early this week disclosed that he has had a recurrence of cancer, began the company’s earnings conference call with a discourse on the state of the industry, and assured investors that TWC wants to earn them money.

Also read: Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt Reveals He Has Cancer Again

Thursday’s earnings call will be his last, because he is leaving the company at the end of the year. He thanked investors for their well-wishes.

“It really, really, means a lot,” he said.

He also thanked customers for their business and employees for their hard work, and said the company was in good hands with his successor, Time Warner Cable Chief Operating Officer Rob Marcus.

Also read: Time Warner Cable COO Rob Marcus to Succeed Glenn Britt as CEO

Marcus defended the company’s dispute with CBS, saying it resulted in better deals for TWC.

In the third quarter, the company lost more than the 182,100 video customers expected by Wall Street, according to the research firm StreetAccount. CBS went dark on Time Warner Cable systems on Aug. 2 in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other markets until the two sides reached a deal over carriage fees on Sept. 2.

The company said it had also lost 24,000 high-speed data customers — analysts had expected 61,500 additions — and 128,000 voice customers.

Marcus said customer calls to Time Warner during the blackout occupied employees and may have slowed them down from signing up new customers.

The company also gave out $15 million in subscriber credits because of Showtime being blacked out during the CBS dispute, but that was partially offset by price increases and a higher percentage of subscribers purchasing higher-priced tiers of service.

Net income attributable to Time Warner Cable dropped to $532 million, or $1.84 per share, compared to $808 million, or $2.60 per share, in the third quarter of 2012. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.65 per share on revenue of $5.54 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The adjusted earnings per share were $1.69.

Revenue for the third quarter increased 2.9% from the third quarter of 2012 to $5.5 billion.