CableOne Revenue Up

CableOne posted single-digit gains in revenue and revenue generating units, and said cable operating income rose 23%, in the first quarter of 2009 versus a year ago.

The Washington Post Co.-owned cable operator had gains in digital video, high-speed Internet and digital telephone subscribers, more than offsetting a year-to-year net loss of 5,658 basic video subscribers, to 705,391.

Division revenue rose to $183.5 million in the quarter, up 5% from $174.3 million in the year-ago quarter, and operating income rose to $42 million from $34.3 million a year ago. Overall revenue growth was offset by a small increase in overall costs due to programming hikes, the firm said during a segment of the Post Co.'s earnings release on May 1.

CableOne received a backhanded compliment in Monday's Wall Street Journal. Warren Buffett, whose Berkskhire Hathaway has a substantial investment in The Washington Post Co., was paraphrased as saying at Berkshire's annual shareholders meeting that the Post's solid cable business was a reason to hold onto the stock. The newspaper business, though, is in trouble, Buffett said.

"For most newspapers in the country, we would not buy them at any price," the Journal quoted Buffett. "They have the possibility of going to just unending losses."