Charter Communications, Inc.(CHTR)- NASDAQ
  • Fri, Jun. 24, 2:48 PM
    • New Charter -- the result of Charter Communications' (CHTR -4%) takeover of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks -- is headed for a solid Q2 despite integration challenges, UBS expects.
    • That's in part due to challenges at telecom competitors, including Frontier Communications, which has struggle to integrate wireline customers it got from Verizon.
    • UBS expects Charter's revenue growth to hold at 6.8% and for the company to add 248,000 broadband subscribers, along with a now-standard seasonal decline in video subs (of about 40,000). A year ago, the company lost 74,000 video subs.
    • The firm thinks Charter's synergy guidance is overly conservative as well, at 5% of cash opex vs. a more typical 10-15%.
    | Fri, Jun. 24, 2:48 PM
  • Thu, Jun. 23, 12:52 PM
    • Pay TV providers are on Capitol Hill today in a hearing focusing fire on the industry's gutter-bound reputation for customer service and billing problems.
    • The hearing accompanies the arrival of a pair of Senate reports addressing the issue and focusing heavily on Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) and Time Warner Cable (now the same company) and their approach to customer overcharges.
    • One report from Sen. Claire McCaskill noted TWC and Charter made "no effort" to trace equipment overcharges unless customers pressed for it, and that the two overbilled customers $639,948 nationwide just between January and April of this year. Charter acknowledged overbilling customers by at least $442,691/month.
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), DirecTV (NYSE:T) and Dish (NASDAQ:DISH) fared better at addressing or preventing overcharges, that report says. A second McCaskill report faulted customers service and billing issues overall.
    • In today's hearing, former TWC exec John Keib said the company had been undercharging more than it had been overcharging. Meanwhile, Comcast's (CMCSA) Tom Karinshak (senior VP for customer service) said in the hearing that the industry hasn't always made customer service a priority and "I am sorry for that."
    | Thu, Jun. 23, 12:52 PM | 32 Comments
  • Wed, May 18, 7:15 PM
    • Finishing a money shuffle tied to today's closure of Charter's $56B buyout of Time Warner Cable and $10B purchase of Bright House Networks, Liberty Interactive (QVCA -0.5%) has completed a $2.4B investment in family company Liberty Broadband (LBRDA +0.2%).
    • That partly fed Liberty Broadband's purchase of $5B of stock in New Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR). Liberty Interactive got newly issued shares of Liberty Broadband Series C common stock at $56.23/share.
    • The two Libertys exchanged their shares of TWC stock one-for-one for shares of New Charter, and Liberty Interactive granted Liberty Broadband a proxy and right of first refusal to its new shares.
    • Liberty Interactive ends up with 42.68M shares of Liberty Broadband Class C, and 5.36M shares of New Charter Class A.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Wed, May 18, 7:15 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, May 18, 10:05 AM
    • Charter Communications (CHTR +0.2%) has closed its long-in-the-works $56B takeover of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and a $10B buyout of Bright House Networks, creating the country's second-biggest cable company.
    • Charter has inched up to a new 52-week high this morning. Shares have risen 24.5% over the past 12 months.
    • As planned, TWC shareholders get either $100/share or $115/share depending on which New Charter exchange ratio they chose.
    • Meanwhile, at the TWC closing, Liberty Broadband (LBRDA +1%) bought $4.3B of newly issued shares of Charter at $195.70/share (Charter's closing price on May 20, 2015) including the impact of the merger exchange ratio. Tied to the Bright House closing, Liberty Broadband bought $700M of new Charter shares at $191.33/share including exchange impact.
    • Charter will continue to be led by Tom Rutledge, serving as chairman, president and CEO. Charter's board will have 13 directors, including seven independent directors, two designated by Bright House's owner Advance/Newhouse, and three designated by Liberty Broadband (including John Malone and Greg Maffei).
    • Previously: Arrivederci 'Time Warner Cable'; company to be called Charter (May. 17 2016)
    | Wed, May 18, 10:05 AM
  • Wed, May 18, 9:15 AM
    | Wed, May 18, 9:15 AM
  • Tue, May 17, 6:27 PM
    • On the verge of closing its multibillion-dollar deal, Charter Communications (CHTR -0.1%) confirms it will phase out the brand "Time Warner Cable" (TWC -0.1%) over time, as well as that of Bright House Networks, being acquired at the same time.
    • As always, while it will take time for changes to become more apparent, "the company will be called Charter and the products and services will be marketed under the ‘Spectrum’ brand,” says spokesman Alex Dudley.
    • It's the chance to get rid of a brand that earned hatred from consumers who complained about poor service. In the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the company's pay TV service tied cable peer Mediacom with the worst overall rank across any industry (scoring 51 out of 100 points; Charter scored a 63 in pay TV). TWC's 58 in broadband was one better than Charter's score of 57, though.
    • The deal will make Charter the No. 2 cable operator, behind Comcast.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Tue, May 17, 6:27 PM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, May 13, 10:43 AM
    • Following a final regulatory click in California yesterday, Charter Communications (CHTR -0.8%) says it will close on its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.4%) and Bright House Networks on Wednesday.
    • Some movement in TWC's trading price may be attributable to investors sorting out the math involved in their part. At closing, what TWC stockholders (aside from Liberty Broadband and Liberty Interactive) will receive depends on which of two options they chose.
    • In "option A," they get $100 in cash and shares in New Charter equivalent to 0.5409 shares of legacy Charter for each TWC share. Option B gets them $115/cash and New Charter shares equivalent to 0.4562 share of legacy Charter for each TWC share.
    • Actual shares of New Charter received would be determined by multiplying one of those exchange ratios with the parent merger exchange ratio of 0.9042 (number of New Charter shares that legacy Charter shareholders get for each legacy share).
    • The exchange agent estimates that of 285M share of TWC common, 183M made a valid election and 180M of those chose option A, with the other 3M choosing option B; shares that didn't choose in time will receive option A.
    • Now read Time Warner Cable And Charter Communications Merger: What You Need To Know »
    | Fri, May 13, 10:43 AM
  • Thu, May 12, 2:10 PM
    • Charter Communications (CHTR -0.2%) has won approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, the final hurdle in its pursuit of Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.2%) and Bright House Networks.
    • That means the deal can close in the coming days, a spokesman said.
    • In giving its approval, the FCC valued the deal for TWC at $78B and the purchase of Bright House at $10.4B.
    • At the PUC meeting, several public speakers came out in favor of the buyout before a few opposed.
    • A consummated deal makes Charter the second-biggest cable company in the U.S. (and third-biggest pay-TV operation, behind Comcast and AT&T/DirecTV) with about 18.4M subscribers.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Thu, May 12, 2:10 PM | 5 Comments
  • Wed, May 11, 3:21 PM
    • Just a day ahead of what could be the final milestone in Charter Communications' (NASDAQ:CHTR) near-$90B in deals for Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and Bright House Networks, a watchdog at California's Public Utilities Commission is pointing to deficiencies in the proposed conditions, CTFN reports.
    • The PUC has been set for a Thursday vote on the deals -- and with FCC approval and a DOJ sign-off in hand, and a California administrative law judge recommending approval, Charter has been champing at the bit to close.
    • But any of the five commissioners can issue a hold on the vote that would kick it to the next scheduled hearing, on May 26.
    • Ana Maria Johnson with the Office of Ratepayer Advocates is telling CTFN that the ALJ's conditions are "insufficient" on data caps, broadband deployment, and forced arbitration of disputes.
    • Among other things, Johnson notes that the FCC conditions prevent New Charter from imposing data caps for seven years from closing, while the ALJ's conditions call for three years. "It shouldn’t be less than what the FCC requires," she says.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Wed, May 11, 3:21 PM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, May 9, 9:59 PM
    • Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) has dealt with hours of service outages in the Northeast, and Cox Communications is too, thanks to "multiple fiber cuts" by a service provider.
    • The problems are affecting some of the most populous areas served by two of the country's biggest cable providers.
    • Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT) said it was experiencing problems due to "a fiber cut caused by third-party construction." The company partners with TWC and Cox, among others.
    • Now read Time Warner Cable And Charter Communications Merger: What You Need To Know »
    | Mon, May 9, 9:59 PM
  • Fri, May 6, 3:22 PM
    • Following reports yesterday of a majority in favor, the FCC confirms it has granted approval with conditions to Charter Communications' (NASDAQ:CHTR) acquisitions of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and Bright House Networks.
    • TWC is up 0.1% on the day; CHTR down 0.2%.
    • Intense last-minute lobbying over conditions that would be imposed on Charter accompanied news that agency head Tom Wheeler was getting support for a draft order approving the deals, which the FCC valued at $78B (for TWC) and $10.4B (for Bright House).
    • Final conditions won't be known until details emerge, but the broad outlines were in place for seven years of restrictions designed to protect online video, improve network buildout and forbid usage-based pricing and data caps.
    | Fri, May 6, 3:22 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, May 5, 12:19 PM
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has a majority with him in approving Charter Communications' (NASDAQ:CHTR) acquisitions of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and Bright House Networks, Reuters reports.
    • TWC is up 0.5%; CHTR up 0.7%.
    • Republican Commissioner Michael O'Rielly and Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel joined with Wheeler in a vote for the deals with conditions, sources said. Last week, Wheeler circulated a draft order recommending approval of the deals after working with the Department of Justice, which also signed off on the purchases.
    • O'Rielly dissented in part, Reuters says, which might mean an alteration to the final conditions. Existing conditions include measures for seven years that are designed to protect online video, improve network buildout and forbid usage-based pricing and data caps.
    • With the FCC reportedly in line, next Thursday's vote at the California Public Utilities Commission may be the final hurdle on what has been a long track toward the multibillion-dollar acquisitions.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Thu, May 5, 12:19 PM
  • Tue, May 3, 8:18 PM
    • Reps from Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) will meet with those from Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) in a move that could help break a stalemate tied to distribution of struggling channel SportsNet LA, owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
    • TWC distributes the channel for the Dodgers, but Southern California fans have been left wanting as only TWC and Charter carry it, while AT&T, Dish Network and Cox have refused it on a cost basis.
    • Frontier is meeting with TWC at the request of U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn, who also (unsuccessfully) tried to get AT&T to the cable table. And it may be able to use some positive press after customer complaints surrounded its California switchover of Verizon operations.
    • TWC tried a number of enticements before baseball's Opening Day to get wider carriage, especially as legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully spends his final season in the booth, but admitted defeat when it found no takers.
    • Frontier stock fell 4% today despite beating expectations in its Q1. After hours: FTR up 0.6%.
    • Now read What The Heck Is Going On With Frontier Communications? »
    | Tue, May 3, 8:18 PM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 29, 3:03 PM
    • Low volatility stocks are besting the broader averages this year, with the SPLV up 3% and the USMV up 4% vs. the 0.7% advance for the S&P 500.
    • While the consumer staples that make up much of the low vol names are expected to do well in the rocky times seen in 2016, at 21x earnings, they're getting pricey.
    • Picking through individual names though, Barclays' Jonathan Glionna has come up with a list of low volatility names which can still be deemed not expensive.
    • In consumer staples: AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Darden (NYSE:DRI), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), Clorox (NYSE:CLX), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), CVS, Hormel (NYSE:HRL), J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM).
    • In utilities: Entergy (NYSE:ETR), PG&E (NYSE:PCG), PPL.
    | Fri, Apr. 29, 3:03 PM | 18 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 28, 1:26 PM
    • In the Q1 earnings call for Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), CEO Tom Rutledge said the new company (after acquiring Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in deals valued by the government at $78B and $10.4B respectively) will drop the Communications and simply be "Charter."
    • With federal approvals coming along, Rutledge now hopes to close within a few days of a May 12 vote at the California Public Utilities Commission, where an administrative law judge has recommended approval of the deal with conditions.
    • Full integration will take somewhat longer, though -- likely until the end of 2018. Changing pricing and packaging of the new customers will follow a transition to two-way digital cable across its new footprint, comprising 36M passings.
    • Shares in Charter are up 2.8% today despite an earnings miss driven by heavier financing costs tied to the company's deals. TWC is up 1.5% after its Q1 beat.
    • Now read Cable Cowboy Ropes Deal »
    | Thu, Apr. 28, 1:26 PM
  • Thu, Apr. 28, 12:55 PM
    • Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), closing in on its acquisition by Charter Communications, is up 1.6% after its own Q1 beat expectations.
    • Charter, which is paying about $57B for TWC, is also up today despite a wider loss in its results.
    • Revenues grew 7.2% and EPS was up 9.7% and beat consensus at $1.81.
    • Revenue by segment: Video, $2.51B (up 1.6%); High-speed data, $1.9B (up 11.9%); voice, $504M (up 6.6%); other, $25M (up 4.2%).
    • The company added a net 236,000 customer relationships: 21,000 net adds in video, along with 314,000 high-speed data net adds, and 178,000 voice net adds.
    • Free cash flow was down 15% to $346M.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Apr. 28, 12:55 PM
Company Description
Charter Communications, Inc. provides broadband communications services. Its services includes Spectrum TV™ video entertainment programming, Spectrum Internet™ access, and Spectrum Voice™. It's advertising sales and production services are sold under the Spectrum Reach™ brand. The... More
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States