Charter Communications’ Wall Street Slide Reaches 19% After Friday Earnings Miss

charter wall
(Image credit: Charter)

After reporting on Friday a loss of 61,000 broadband subscribers in the third quarter, Charter Communications has taken a hard hit on Wall Street, with shares declining 19% from $382.34 at end-of-day trading on Thursday, February 1.

Equity analysts had expected narrow growth for Charter’s broadband unit, which lost 62,000 residential customers while gaining 1,000 business accounts in the fourth quarter. 

Also read: Charter Reports Video, Internet Subscriber Losses for Q4

“We’ve long argued that Charter doesn’t need to show ‘broadband re-acceleration.’ They merely need to show that broadband unit results are predictable enough, at a level reasonably close to zero or slightly better, to allow for focus on all the other good things that are happening (wireless, ARPU growth, margins),” analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a note to investors Friday. “Today’s report is a frustrating reminder that they aren’t there yet. For better or for worse, the focus will remain on broadband net adds until Charter can prove that the focus can safely be directed elsewhere.”

(Image credit: MoffettNathanson)

As this other graphic from Moffett’s report shows, Charter’s “dispiriting” broadband was declining as passings growth accelerated.

(Image credit: MoffettNathanson)

As Moffett noted, a lot could change for Charter in the coming months as to render such customer growth data less meaningful. For example, wireless unit Spectrum Mobile, which added 2.5 million lines in 2023, could start generating more revenue. 

Also read: For What It's Worth: Charter Is the New Pay TV King, Narrowly Surpasses Comcast By 17,000 Subscribers

Or broadband ARPU (average revenue per user) could accelerate, as has been the case for Comcast. 

Until that time, the analyst added: “You can’t fight the zeitgeist. It’s all about broadband net adds.”

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!