Altice USA said it shed about 40,000 broadband customers in Q2, its fourth consecutive quarter of losses and double the 20,000 decline that many analysts expected.
Altice USA first reported a quarterly decline in broadband subscribers in Q3 2021 (-13,100), and finished the year with a 13,000 high-speed data customer deficit, after shedding another 1,900 customers in Q4. While the company has made some moves to right the ship -- it has accelerated its fiber broadband buildout plans, built new retail outlets and is rebranding all of its systems under the Optimum name, the losses continued. Altice USA lost about 13,000 broadband customers in Q1 and the current decline is its biggest quarterly broadband loss ever.
Overall revenue was down 2.1% to $2.46 billion and cash flow fell 8.8% to $1 billion.
Altice USA shares were down about 2% each in after-hours trading Wednesday to $9.49 per share.
Other large cable operators missed broadband growth targets in Q2 -- Comcast reported flat growth and Charter Communications lost 21,000 subscribers, its first loss in the segment ever. The results come several days after reports said that Altice USA had hired Goldman Sachs to seek possible buyers for its Suddenlink systems.
Leading up to earnings announcements, most analysts expected Altice USA to lose broadband customers, with estimates ranging from a loss of 9,000 to 22,000 customers.
Despite the decline, Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said the company is turning a corner, adding in a press release that the company is beginning “to see the benefits of our investments against our growth initiatives.”
Earlier this year Altice said its fiber network passed 1.6 million homes, exceeding expectations, and has more than 100,000 fiber customers. In addition, the company launched multi-Gig service in June, and its Optimum Mobile service, although it still lags behind its larger peers, has more than 200,000 customers.
“As we remain extremely focused on executing against these key growth initiatives, we expect an improvement in our overall customer growth going forward,” Goei said in the press release. ■
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.