‘Newsday’ Reports Double-Digit Q2 Ad Revenue Drop

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By: Deborah Yao, The Associated Press

DEBORAH YAO (AP) – 4 hours ago

PHILADELPHIA — Cablevision Systems Corp. said Thursday said its second-quarter profit fell sharply as a hefty loss related to paying down debt helped offset revenue gains as more people signed up for its video, Internet and phone services.

But the New York regional cable TV company otherwise saw a strong performance across the board, adding video subscribers in the quarter unlike other major cable operators.

The exception was its Newsday newspaper operations. The paper’s revenue fell as advertising weakened yet again.

The Bethpage, N.Y., company reported net income of $60.9 million, or 21 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30. That’s down from $87 million, or 30 cents per share, a year ago.

Earnings included a $110 million loss related to paying off its debt and to write off certain financing costs. It also incurred higher interest expenses and investment losses.

Revenue rose 5.8 percent to $1.8 billion from $1.7 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 40 cents per share on revenue of $1.77 billion. Their earnings estimates typically exclude one-time items. Cablevision did not provide an earnings figure that excludes losses related to debt and investments.

In the quarter, video, Internet and phone revenue rose 6 percent to $1.44 billion. Customers on average paid $149.12 a month for the three services, up 6.8 percent.

Its Rainbow unit, which handles the AMC, Sundance and IFC cable channels, among others, saw revenue increase by 11 percent to $280.5 million. Advertising revenue at AMC, WE tv and IFC rose by 18 percent mainly due to an increase in rates.

Newsday’s revenue fell by 9.7 percent to $80.1 million as ad revenue slumped 12.6 percent.

Cablevision gained 2,900 video customers in the quarter from the first quarter, and among those, 21,100 signed up for digital cable TV. It also added 27,000 net new Internet subscribers and 24,900 phone customers.

Time Warner Cable Inc., which also reported earnings on Thursday, and Comcast Corp. lost basic video customers in the latest quarter. Comcast released its second-quarter results last week. But they each added Internet and phone customers — two of cable’s growth areas.

Shares of Cablevision rose 41 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $27.95 in morning trading Thursday.

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