Time Warner Cable Q4 Results Top View, Despite Lower Customers; Ups Dividend

(RTTNews.com) - Time Warner Cable Inc. ( TWC ), a provider of video, high-speed data and voice services, reported Thursday a higher profit in its fourth quarter, boosted mainly by growth in revenues from high-speed data and business services, despite a decline in customer relationships. Adjusted earnings per share as well as top line beat analysts' estimates. The company also announced higher quarterly dividend.

Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus said, "I'm really excited about the progress we made in Q4 and the significantly better trends we're driving as we enter 2014...We are executing well and we've started the year with meaningful operating momentum."

Time Warner Cable's fourth-quarter net income attributable to TWC shareholders advanced 5.3 percent to $540 million from $513 million in the prior year. Earnings per share climbed 12.5 percent to $1.89 from $1.68 a year ago.

Excluding certain items, adjusted attributable net profit was $520 million or $1.82 per share, compared to last year's $479 million or $1.57 per share. On average, 27 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $1.73 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

The firm's quarterly revenue increased 1.7 percent to $5.58 billion from last year's $5.49 billion. Analysts estimated revenues of $5.56 billion for the quarter.

Residential services revenue edged up 0.1 percent, primarily driven by an increase in high-speed data revenue, partially offset by declines in video and voice revenue. Average monthly revenue per residential customer relationship or ARPU grew 2.2 percent to $106.03. Residential high-speed data ARPU increased 12.4 percent to $46.21.

In the quarter, business services revenue climbed 19.6 percent mainly with increases in high-speed data and voice subscribers and growth in cell tower backhaul and Metro Ethernet revenue

Meanwhile, advertising revenue declined 11.2 percent due to lower political advertising revenue, partially offset by growth in non-political advertising revenue.

Total customer relationships as of December 31 was 15.008 million, down 67 thousand from 15.075 million as of September 2013. Residential Customer Relationships decreased 85 thousand, mainly due to losses related to the programming disputes with CBS and Journal Communications.

Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization or Adjusted OIBDA, a key earnings metric, increased 1.6 percent to $2 billion with revenue growth, partially offset by higher operating expenses. Adjusted OIBDA margin dropped to 36.3 percent from 36.4 percent last year.

For fiscal 2013, attributable net income declined 9.3 percent to $21.95 billion or $6.70 per share. Adjusted net income was $1.93 billion or $6.61 per share. Annual revenues grew 3.4 percent from last year to $22.12 billion. Adjusted OIBDA increased 2 percent to $8 billion.

Separately, the company announced that it is raising its regular quarterly dividend by 15 percent to $0.75 per share, $3.00 per share on an annualized basis. The quarterly dividend is payable in cash on March 17 to stockholders of record on February 28.

Time Warner Cable shares closed Wednesday's trading at $132.10, down $1.61 or 1.20 percent.

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