Charter Communications, one of the nation’s top three cable companies, saw its stock nose higher on strong quarterly numbers. Video customers declined but video revenue still rose and the company added broadband subscribers at a solid clip.
Total fourth-quarter revenue increased by 4.7% year-over-year to $11.8 billion, driven by growth in Internet, mobile, video and SMB, or Spectrum Mobile, revenue.
Earnings per share of $3.36 were up from $.131 the year before and roundly beat even the high-end of Wall Street’s expectations of $2.76.
Residential video customers decreased by 105,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019, while fourth quarter 2018 residential video customers decreased by 36,000. At year end, Charter had 15.6 million residential video customers. But video revenue totaled $4.5 billion in the fourth quarter, an increase of 2.6% compared to the prior year period, driven by rate adjustments and promotional rolloff, only partly offset by the decline in video customers, a higher mix of streaming and lighter video packages within Charter’s video customer base and lower pay-per-view and video on demand revenue.
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Internet revenue grew by 11.5%, compared to the year-ago quarter, to $4.3 billion, driven by growth in Internet customers during the last year.
Voice revenue totaled $450 million in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 12.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, driven by a decline in wireline voice customers over the last twelve months.
During the fourth quarter of 2019, Charter’s residential customer relationships grew by 240,000, while fourth quarter 2018 residential customer relationships grew by 207,000. At year end Charter had 27.3 million residential customer relationships, with year-over-year growth of 1 million, or 3.8%.
Charter added 313,000 residential Internet customers in the fourth quarter of 2019, versus fourth quarter 2018 residential Internet customer net additions of 289,000. It ended the year with 24.9 million residential Internet customers.
During the fourth quarter of 2019, Charter added 288,000 mobile lines, and as of December 31, 2019, Charter served a total of 1.1 million mobile lines. Spectrum Mobile is available to all new and existing Spectrum Internet customers
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