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Charter Communications, Inc. (CHTR)

- NASDAQ
  • Today, 2:33 AM
    • Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) is heading toward a potential merger with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) again, WSJ reports, but is now opting for a more amicable approach compared to last year's unsolicited bid.
    • John Malone, chairman of Charter's biggest shareholder Liberty Broadband (NASDAQ:LBRDA), called Time Warner Cable's Rob Marcus "in recent days" to express Charter's interest in pursuing friendly deal talks.
    • The two sides will continue discussing their options this week, when Charter CEO Tom Rutledge meets Marcus at the annual National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention in Chicago.
    • Previously: CNBC: Charter, TWC to discuss merger next week (Apr. 29 2015)
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  • Fri, May. 1, 8:53 AM
    • Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) was 1.1% lower premarket after a loss widened to $81M primarily on costs tied to Comcast's Time Warner Cable buyout transaction, while the company lost video subscribers.
    • The loss reflected $86M in interest expense related to financing the Comcast transactions as well as $13M in other related costs. EBITDA of $821M missed an expected $828.4M.
    • Revenue by segment: Video, $1.13B (up 3.5%); Internet, $717M (up 16.4%); Voice, $134M (down 10.2%); Commercial, $269M (up 14.8%); Ad sales, $66M (down 2%); Other, $47M (up 5.9%).
    • Net video subscriber loss of 7K; net Internet adds of 125K and net voice adds of 42K, leading to net residential primary service units of 160K (down from year-ago 206K).
    • Capex of $351M was lower than a year-ago $539M, as lower customer premise equipment spending coincided with the wrap-up of an all-digital initiative in Q4.
    • Free cash flow of $101M vs. a prior $74M. Total debt at quarter's end of about $21B, including $7B in escrow for the Comcast deals.
    • Conference call at 10 a.m. ET.
    • Press Release
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  • Fri, May. 1, 8:05 AM
    • Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR): Q1 EPS of -$0.73 may not be comparable to consensus of $0.04.
    • Revenue of $2.36B (+7.3% Y/Y) misses by $10M.
    • Press Release
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  • Thu, Apr. 30, 5:30 PM
  • Thu, Apr. 30, 3:47 PM
    • With Comcast's (CMCSA -1.2%) pursuit of Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.4%) dashed on the rocks, TWC and Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) have (separately) contacted Bright House Networks in the past week about acquiring them, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
    • With about 2M subscribers, Bright House is sixth-largest among cable MSOs. Charter had a deal to acquire Bright House a month ago, but that was contingent on the Comcast-TWC combo, so they need to start again during a 30-day "good faith" cycle.
    • Time Warner Cable's interest in adding Bright House could be in making itself much tougher to acquire, and it would likely make the owning Newhouse family the biggest shareholder of the combination. In a deal with Charter, John Malone and Liberty Broadband (NASDAQ:LBRDA) would have the biggest voting stake.
    • Meanwhile, TWC has deep ties to the Newhouse company -- TWC negotiates Bright House's programming and technology deals for a fee, and has right of first offer on the Newhouses' cable systems, the WSJ notes.
    • Previously: TWC misses on earnings, logs best subscriber quarter (Apr. 30 2015)
    • Previously: CNBC: Charter, TWC to discuss merger next week (Apr. 29 2015)
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  • Wed, Apr. 29, 9:48 AM
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  • Tue, Apr. 28, 8:42 PM
    • During T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) Q1 earnings call, colorful CEO John Legere took another opportunity to hint at the tie-up that increasingly seems to be in the company's future: with a cableco that offers broadband.
    • Just days after FCC opposition killed the Comcast-TWC merger, Legere pointed to the need to counterbalance AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which combine wireless service with broadband offerings and even TV business.
    • Regulators seem to be opposed to cable-cable deals, and wireless-wireless deals like aborted plans for a Sprint (NYSE:S) merger with T-Mobile -- but Legere notes a natural fit may occur across industries: "The tangential players are touching mobile players in a way that makes a go-to-market strategy."
    • Analyst Craig Moffett urges caution, as regulators might already see the two industries as competition. "Wireless broadband is clearly the FCC's best hope for a counter to cable's wired advantage. They might decide that they aren't ready to allow a combination like that."
    • Possible cable suitors: CMCSA, TWC, CHTR, CVC
    • After earnings today, TMUS -0.3%.
    • Related: T-Mobile US (TMUS) Q1 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Apr. 28 2015)
    • Previously: T-Mobile grows Q1 revenues 13%, adds 1.8M subscribers (Apr. 28 2015)
    • Previously: T-Mobile keeps fanning Dish partnership flames (Mar. 06 2015)
    | 20 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 27, 8:25 PM
    • After fighting off a hostile bid from Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) just over a year ago, Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) is now open to merger talks with the cableco now that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has called off its $45B friendly pursuit, Reuters reports.
    • One key change from before: TWC now views Charter stock as more valuable this time around. CHTR shares are up 40.7% over the past 12 months.
    • Still, the deal would have to be significantly sweeter as well. Charter's previous hostile bid for TWC was for about $132.50/share; Comcast's $45B offer was valued around $158.82/share.
    • As for competitive concerns, Charter/TWC would have about 15M video customers, whereas Comcast/TWC would have had about 30M.
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  • Fri, Apr. 24, 2:48 PM
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  • Fri, Apr. 24, 9:15 AM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is trading up 1.3% premarket, and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) is 0.8% higher as well, after confirmation that their $45B merger deal is dead.
    • In statements by the Justice Dept. and FCC thanking each other for their cooperation, it's clear that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was against the deal, which would have made agency approval a very long shot.
    • It's also clear why Wheeler was opposed: It's about broadband, not cable, and protecting the burgeoning streaming video market. "The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation especially given the growing importance of high-speed broadband to online video and innovative new services."
    • While Comcast doesn't pay a breakup fee with the deal's end, that doesn't mean everyone walks away cheaply: Advisers including bankers and lawyers will lose out on $380M in fees, chiefly Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), banker for Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR). J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) will drop from second to third in the league tables. As a mitigating factor, more deals are likely on the way, though.
    • Other sector players premarket: AT&T -0.3%; Verizon -0.2%.
    | 4 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 24, 8:34 AM
    • After a late Thursday board meeting, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has confirmed it's dropping its $45B plan to acquire Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) -- a stunning reversal of a 15-month plan, which got less stunning as hurdles began to mount in recent weeks.
    • "Today, we move on," says Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. "Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away." It's a cheap walk-away for Comcast, which had no breakup fee in the deal.
    • What next? Consolidation is still likely in a deeply uncompetitive industry. Other companies are now officially front and center in pursuit of TWC, notably John Malone's Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), which could re-launch its own failed effort. CHTR-TWC would have 16.5M broadband subscribers together, less than Comcast's 22M.
    • Charter's deal with Comcast aimed at divestment and easing the Comcast-TWC transaction also blows up. What about Charter's deal to acquire Bright House?
    • As for Comcast, it could take its stored-up momentum outside of cable -- to someone like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), as BTIG's Rich Greenfield hints? Or to a telecom like T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS)?
    • Updated: Time Warner Cable statement. "We have always believed that Time Warner Cable is a one-of-a-kind asset," says Chairman and CEO Robert D. Marcus. "We are strong and getting stronger."
    | 23 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 23, 3:09 PM
    • Bloomberg reports Comcast (CMCSA +2.2%) plans to drop its hotly-contested efforts to merge with Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.7%), and could make an announcement as soon as tomorrow. Comcast has moved higher in response.
    • The report comes a day after the WSJ reported the FCC staff recommends a hearing on the deal, and a week after Bloomberg reported DOJ antitrust lawyers are leaning against it.
    • Charter (CHTR +0.4%), which has suggested it's interested in TWC if the Comcast deal falls through, has moved slightly higher.
    | 9 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 21, 5:32 PM
    • Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) says it's closed on the sale of $2.7B in senior unsecured notes in total.
    • The notes come due in 2023 ($1.15B worth at 5.125%), 2025 ($750M at 5.375%) and 2027 ($800M at 5.875%).
    • Net proceeds came to about $2.68B, which will be used to roll notes due in 2017, 2019 and 2020 and for general purposes.
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  • Fri, Apr. 17, 7:06 PM
    • As reports spread that Justice Dept. attorneys were likely to recommend blocking Comcast's (CMCSA -2.1%) $45B buyout of Time Warner Cable (TWC -5.4%), the cable companies both argued there was no basis to block the deal.
    • It'll mean "faster broadband speeds, access to a superior video experience, and more competition in business services resulting in billions of dollars of cost savings," according to a Comcast statement. "These benefits have been essentially unchallenged in the record."
    • Meanwhile, over at the FCC, 37 groups opposed to the deal wrote Tom Wheeler, the agency's chairman, saying that even conditional application of net neutrality regulation wouldn't soften their opposition. Signatories included Dish, Consumers Union, the Writers Guild of America, West, and Free Press; "they don't make any new arguments," Comcast responds.
    • Some volume came into competitive stocks and gave them a (relative) lift after the news: Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) came off lows to finish down 1.9%; Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC) rebounded to finish just -0.3%.
    • In February, BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield laid out why he thought the deal would ultimately get rejected.
    • Then shortly after the Justice Dept. news broke, Comcast noted it was bringing its top-speed 2-Gbps Gigabit Pro service to the California Bay Area. The company previously said it would launch the service in Atlanta (where Google Fiber and AT&T plan 1-Gbps service); it's setting June for the California launch, but still no word on possible pricing.
    | 5 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 15, 6:06 PM
    • Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) prices another $800M in senior notes (due 2027) at 5.875%.
    • The notes are senior unsecured debt and proceeds will be used to partially redeem 7% senior notes due 2019 and for general purposes.
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  • Tue, Apr. 14, 7:17 PM
    • With the FCC's new net neutrality rules published in the Federal Register, AT&T (NYSE:T) and three industry trade groups representing cablecos and wireless carriers have filed separate lawsuits challenging the rules, which subject firms to heavier "telecom services" regulations.
    • AT&T is the first large individual challenger, joined by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, wireless group CTIA and the smaller American Cable Association. The NCTA has hired former solicitor General Ted Olson, who argued Bush v. Gore before the Supreme Court.
    • Publication in the Federal Register means the rules take effect 60 days from yesterday -- which is why affected companies had their briefs warmed up.
    • Represented/related companies: VZ, TMUS, S, CMCSA, CHTR, TWC, CVC, CTL, FTR, CCOI, DISH, DTV
    | 53 Comments
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Company Description
Charter Communications Inc is acable operator providing services in the United States. It offerscable video programming, Internet services, and voice services, as well as video services such as video on demand, HD television and DVR service.
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States