Time Warner Cable shares plunged at the opening bell on Wall Street Thursday (10-27) after the MSO reported a drop in subscribers and Q3 earnings that fell below analysts’ expectations. The shares opened down 2.3% and fell to a loss of 11.5% before starting to recover. TWC stock closed at $65.17, down $5.46, or 7.7%, for the day.
TWC CEO Glenn Britt tried to put a positive spin on the results: “We posted steady financial progress in the third quarter, powered by residential broadband and business services, and we’re pleased with the stronger subscriber results in August and September. We continue to focus our efforts on maximizing our growth opportunities.”
Revenues were up from Q3 a year ago, but only by 3.7% to $4.91 billion. The Street had expected a gain of 4.4%. Advertising revenue was down 3.1% at $216 million.
Earnings per share, excluding one-time items, missed the analysts’ consensus by three cents, coming in at $1.10.
TWC lost 126,000 video subscribers during the quarter. Was that cord cutting? Most analysts think not – but rather that traditional cable subscribers defected to telco challengers (Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse) and satellite TV (DirecTV and Dish).