Same old story: Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) revenues up, basic subscriber numbers down

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) has become the latest MSO to join the ongoing trend of making money and losing subscribers. The nation's second largest MSO reported that third quarter revenues ($4.7 billion) were up 5.2 percent over third quarter 2009; subscription revenues were up 4.5 percent to $4.5 billion and advertising revenues jumped an impressive 22.5 percent to $223 million. At the same time, the MSO leaked 155,000 subscribers.

Also on the financial front, TWC's board authorized a $4 billion share repurchase program along with the regular dividend, reflecting "our confidence in the strength and stability of the company's free cash flows," according to CEO Glenn Britt.

The cable operator, like its industry brethren, continues to focus its efforts on the new TV Everywhere space, following what Britt described as a "four anys" framework of "any content, anytime, anywhere and on any device" starting with a variety of ESPN-linked content that the MSO released recently as part of its new deal with Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and adding "a wide range of networks to our TV Everywhere capability in the near future."

To combat subscriber leakage that Britt blamed on "the weak economy with continuing high rates of unemployment and housing vacancies as well as a competitive market," TWC will widely roll out the high-end Signature Home product it's been offering in its Charlotte, N.C. market and, at the other end, develop a "budget-oriented video package consistent with our belief that some customers would like a smaller package," he concluded.

For details on TWC's third quarter earnings:
- see this news release

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