January 31, 2019 / 12:26 PM / 22 days ago

Internet users help Charter beat revenue estimates

FILE PHOTO - A Charter Communications company service van is pictured in Pasadena, California U.S., January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc topped quarterly revenue estimates on Thursday, as the cable operator attracted more customers for its internet services, offsetting a drop in video subscribers.

The company’s shares rose 6.2 percent in trading before the bell.

More and more subscribers are deserting pay TV bundles and switching to cheaper streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.com’s Prime video.

That has pushed companies including Charter and Comcast Corp to focus on their broadband businesses and high-speed internet upgrades as a strategy to survive in the rapidly changing media landscape.

Charter added 289,000 residential internet customers in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

The company reported a loss of 36,000 residential video customers in the quarter, compared with net 2,000 customers it gained last year.

Net income attributable to shareholders fell to $296 million, or $1.29 per share, from $9.55 billion, or $34.56 per share, a year earlier, when the company booked a huge tax benefit.

Analysts had estimated a profit of $1.51 per share.

Total revenue rose 5.9 percent to $11.23 billion. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $11.14 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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