Time Warner Cable Falls Below Earnings Expectations, Adds Video Subscribers for First Time Since 2009

Cable company reports earnings of $1.65 on revenue of 5.78 billion

Last Updated: April 30, 2015 @ 6:21 AM

Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC), whose merger with Comcast recently fell through thanks to fierce FCC and consumer opposition, unveiled its first quarter 2015 financials on Thursday morning before the stock markets opened, reporting earnings of $1.65 per share (EPS) on $5.78 billion in revenue.

Wall Street analysts had forecast EPS of $1.88 on $5.8 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo Finance. CNN Money had forecast the same. Year-over-year, revenue was up 3.5 percent.

In the first quarter, the U.S. cable operator had its first net gain in video subscribers since 2009, adding 30,000 subscribers. TWC also had net additions of 315,000 in high-speed data — its best number since the first quarter of 2007.

TWC reported it added 205,000 residential customer relationships, its best quarter ever. Programming costs grew 8.5 percent to 1.4 billion in large part to an uptick in the average monthly programming costs per video subscriber.

Profit was down year-over-year, coming in at $458 million, down from $479 million the same time last year.

Comcast officially dropped its bid to take over Time Warner Cable on April 24, as the FCC aligned with the Department of Justice in opposing the deal on the grounds that the merger wasn’t in the public interest. Charter Communications reportedly reached out to try and renew merger talks after the Comcast/TWC deal died.

“By almost any measure, Q1 was our best subscriber quarter ever,” CEO Rob Marcus said. “We’ve made significant investments to improve our customers’ experience and our operational performance, and they are paying off. We are a far stronger company than we were just five short quarters ago.

“Our company has terrific assets, a world class team and a well-architected operating plan,” he added. “I am confident we can drive meaningful growth and create even more value for our shareholders.”

On the company’s earnings call, Marcus briefly mentioned the speculation and discussion about the failed Comcast-TWC merger that has grabbed the headlines, saying few have focused the company’s actual results. He recounted a February discussion with his team, telling them to be ready in the event a Comcast-TWC merger didn’t occur.

“Despite all the merger-related distractions, they never took their eyes off the ball,” he said of his team.