Altice USA Rolls On in Q2

About one month since its impressive debut as a separate public company, Altice USA reported strong Q2 results, with revenue and cash flow up by 3.2% and 22% respectively and video losses beginning to stabilize.

Altice went public on June 22 at $30 per share and has risen steadily since, peaking at $35.29 per share early on in its trading history before settling down in later weeks. The stock closed at $33.88 each on July 2, up 7.2%, or $2.28 per share.

For the second quarter, revenue at the U.S. cable unit of European telecom company Altice N.V., rose 3.2% to $2.3 billion and cash flow increased 22% to $994 million. The company lost about 37,000 video customers in the period and gained about 1,000 high-speed data customers.

On the video side, Altice USA’s Optimum unit lost about 12,000 customers in the quarter, compared to a loss of about 2,000 in the prior year. But on a call with reporters to discuss results, chairman and CEO Dexter Goei said Q2 2016 was benefitted by a weeks-long strike at Verizon Communications. The recent losses are in line with other quarterly declines. At its former Suddenlink systems, video subscribers decline by about 25,000, the same as in the prior year.

Goei said Altice USA’s fiber-to-the-home rollout remains on track on its plan to upgrade 100% of its Optimum footprint and part of its Suddenlink footprint in the next five years. The company also has made strides in customer service, with technical visits down 20% and tech calls reduced by 19% year-over-year. Goei said on the call that 18% of Optimum and 20% of Suddenlink gross customer additions in the period were through online signups, compared to 2% and 14% in Q4 2015.

“One year ago we closed the Cablevision acquisition and one year after we continue to over-deliver at what we were saying we were going to do,” Goei said.