New subscriber additions boosted Q2 profits for Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and beat analyst estimates.
Net earnings came in at $63.5 million (24 cents a share), compared to $87.8 million (32 cents a share) in the year ago period. Expectations by analysts were in the region of 19 cents on average. However, last year, spun-off unit AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) contributed $18.6 million to profits, or 6 cents per share.
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Revenues were $1.7 billion, in line with street expectations, while average revenue per user climbed 1.7 percent to $155.12. The company added 25,000 new Internet customers and 23,000 voice subscribers in the quarter, while TV customers were flat. This is the second quarter that the company has managed to hold its TV user base. In comparison, competitor Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) lost a record 169,000 users this quarter.
In the context of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC)’s earnings, it is useful to remember that the company benefits from what is known as the Hamptons effect – a time of the year when people vacationing in areas, such as the Hamptons, subscribe to the cable service, providing a seasonal boost to subscriber statistics from June through September. The company has on average 3 million subscribers in the New York City and Long Island areas. CVC also benefited because Verizon’s FiOs service was promoted somewhat on a low key during the quarter – FiOs is a particularly tough competitor for CVC.
Larger rival Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NASDAQ:CMCSK), also posted a strong second quarter, gaining 156,000 internet customers and 158,000 phone customers, and beat market expectations. The company reported a net income of $1.35 billion, or 50 cents per share, a 32 percent increase, compared with its $1.02 billion or 37 cents per share during the same period last year. The cable company beat the 48 cents per share average analyst’s estimate.
Similarly, peer Time Warner Cable also beat analyst expectations for its second quarter, though revenues were in line. TWC logged revenue of $5.40 billion, while analysts expected revenue of $5.39 billion on the same basis. EPS came in at $1.48 against expectations of $1.38 per share.