Time Warner Cable 3Q net income slips 1 percent

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NEW YORK (AP) ? The nation’s second-largest cable company, Time Warner Cable Inc., said Thursday that its third-quarter earnings slipped 1 percent as higher expenses offset the impact of rising revenue.

CEO Glenn Britt said the company showed “steady financial progress” in the third quarter, helped by residential broadband and business services. He added that the company saw stronger subscriber results in August and September.

Time Warner Cable said its net income fell to $356 million, or $1.08 per share, in the three months that ended Sept. 30. That’s down from $360 million, or $1 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue grew 4 percent to $4.91 billion from $4.73 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting slightly higher earnings of $1.13 per share on revenue of $4.95 billion.

Time Warner Cable said its residential services revenue climbed 2 percent to $4.3 billion. Business services revenue jumped 35 percent to $387 million. A growth in the number of high-speed data subscribers helped boost results. Advertising revenue fell 3 percent to $216 million.

The company said its costs grew 3 percent to $3.91 billion from $3.81 billion. Time Warner attributed the higher operating costs to mainly to higher employee costs and video programming expenses.

Time Warner is the first big cable company to report results for the quarter, and its results could provide a window into trends at Comcast Corp., which reports next week. Cable companies have been losing TV customers, mainly to satellite and phone companies, for years. But in the second quarter of 2010, the overall pay-TV industry lost customers for the first time.

Time Warner lost about 128,000 residential video subscribers during the quarter, ending the period with about 11.9 million. It gained about 89,000 residential high-speed data customers, ending the quarter with 9.8 million.