Cablevision shares are down 8.7% in early trading after the company reported anemic 2Q results. Net income at $87.8M was up 44.3% vs the same period last year on revenues of $1.69B, up 9.1%. But if you factor out the company’s recent acquisition of Bresnan Communications, the 2Q growth for cable TV — which accounts for 89% of Cablevision’s total revenues — would have been just 1.3% vs last year, not 9.8%. Further complicating comparisons is Cablevision’s recent spinoff of AMC Networks. (Cablevision accounts for income from AMC under “discontinued operations,” not as a contributor to net revenues.) Still, analysts expected better: Earnings at 31 cents a share contrast with the 44 cents forecast. The Street also thought total revenues would come in higher at $1.87B. The subscription losses hurt: Cablevision said good-bye to 7% of its pay TV customers since March, ending 2Q with 3.28M. That likely will lead some analysts to wonder whether Cablevision has much room to grow. Its systems are concentrated in New York City suburbs and Long Island where Verizon and AT&T also are vigorously competing for TV subs. Even with broadband and phone subscriptions, Cablevision’s customer count fell 4.6% to 3.64M. Now that Cablevision has spun off AMC Networks it is “more focused than ever on the strength of our telecommunications business and on creating additional value for our customers and shareholders,” says CEO Jim Dolan.
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