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Cablevision Q4 Profit Doubles On Litigation Settlement Gain

Cablevision Q4 Profit Doubles On Litigation Settlement Gain
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2/28/2013 10:29 AM ET

Telecommunications and media company Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC: Quote) reported Thursday a profit for the fourth quarter that nearly doubled from last year, reflecting a gain related to the settlement of the litigation with Dish Network. The company noted that the results were impacted by Superstorm Sandy, which saw a decline in cable television revenues.

"The enormous challenges of Superstorm Sandy had a strong negative impact on our fourth quarter results. Ever resilient, our employees met those challenges, restored our system and now are focused on continuing to enhance our product portfolio to meet our customers' evolving needs and expectations," President and CEO James Dolan said in a statement.

The Bethpage, New York-based company reported net income of $116.54 million or $0.45 per share for the fourth quarter, higher than $60.63 million or $0.22 per share in the prior-year quarter. The result included $200.50 million, primarily a gain from litigation settlement with Dish Network. Loss from continuing operations for the quarter was $83.71 million or $0.32 per share.

On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.09 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net revenues for the quarter declined 1.6 percent to $1.66 billion from $1.69 billion in the same quarter last year, and missed seventeen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $1.70 billion. Excluding items, consolidated net revenues would have edged up 0.3 percent.

Telecommunications services net revenues for the quarter decreased 1.9 percent to $1.55 billion, with operating income plunging 73 percent to $114.33 million.

Cable Television net revenues decreased 2.2 percent to $1.47 billion, mainly due to the impact of Superstorm Sandy and as growth of high-speed data and voice customers were more than offset by fewer video customers than last year. Meanwhile, cable advertising revenue grew 17.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Lightpath net revenues grew 3.4 percent from the same period last year to $81.83 million. Net revenues at the cable operator's 'Other' segment also increased 2.3 percent from the year-ago period to $119.66 million.

Earlier in the month, Charter Communications, Inc. (CHTR) agreed to acquire Cablevision's Bresnan Broadband Holdings, LLC or "Optimum West" for $1.625 billion in cash. The companies expect to close the deal in the third quarter of 2013. Optimum West manages cable operating systems in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah that pass more than 660,000 homes and serve 304,000 video subscribers and 366,000 customer relationships.

For fiscal 2012, the company reported net income of $233.52 million or $0.87 per share, lower than $291.86 million or $1.02 per share in the prior year. Income from continuing operations for the quarter plunged to $33.27 million or $0.12 per share from $238.23 million or $0.84 per share in the year ago. Net revenues for the full year edged up to $6.71 billion from $6.70 billion in the previous year.

Street was looking for full-year 2012 earnings of $0.56 per share on annual revenues of $6.74 billion.

In Thursday's regular trading session, CVC is currently trading at $14.14, down $1.33 or 8.60% on a volume of 1.61 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $10.76 to $18.86.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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