Fitch Releases 4Q'13 U.S. Telecom & Cable Stats Quarterly Report

Mon May 12, 2014 12:42pm EDT

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: U.S. Telecom and Cable Stats Quarterly — Fourth-Quarter 2013 here CHICAGO, May 12 (Fitch) According to a new report issued today by Fitch Ratings, Fitch believes Comcast Corporation's (Comcast) merger with Time Warner Cable, Inc. (TWC) is strategically sound and creates significant opportunities to realize operating and capital spending efficiencies with minimal execution risk. The all-stock consideration structure of the merger is not expected to have a material impact on Comcast's credit protection measures. Fitch expects Comcast's credit profile will strengthen on a pro forma basis with consolidated pro forma leverage of 2.2x by year-end 2014, approaching 2.0x by the end of 2015 in the absence of significant cost or operating synergies. Fitch recently affirmed Comcast's IDR at 'A-' following the company's announcement that it will divest approximately 3.9 million video subscribers to Charter Communications, Inc. (Charter) following the closing of the Comcast and TWC merger. The company will utilize proceeds of approximately $14 billion from the asset divestitures to reduce outstanding debt and expand its share buyback program. Comcast has the potential to realize approximately $1.5 billion of efficiencies from the combined entity. The cable systems to be divested generate approximately $3 billion of EBITDA. The loss of EBITDA generation will be offset by approximately $9 billion of debt reduction. Fitch's 'U.S. Telecom and Cable Stats Quarterly' provides a summary of operating performance, credit metrics, and liquidity positions of the companies in the telecommunications sector of Fitch's rating universe over the past four years, as well as key credit strengths and concerns as of the end of 4Q'13. The full report 'U.S. Telecom & Cable Stats Quarterly (Fourth-Quarter 2013)' is available at 'www.fitchratings.com' or by clicking on the link above. Contact: Dave Peterson Senior Director +1-312-368-3177 Fitch Ratings, Inc. 70 W. Madison Street Chicago, IL 60602 Mike Weaver Managing Director +1-312-368-3156 Media Relations: Brian Bertsch, New York, Tel: +1 212-908-0549, Email: brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.