In its first full quarter since long-time chief operating officer Tom Rutledge abruptly left the company, Cablevision Systems beat analyst subscriber expectations soundly in the first quarter, while missing financial predictions by a wide margin.
The result was a precipitous fall in its stock price -- down 8.1% ($1.19 each) to $13.51 in afternoon trading Thursday -- and questions whether the MSO has sacrificed financial growth for short-term subscriber gains.
Cablevision added 7,000 basic subscribers in the period, well ahead of consensus expectations of a loss of 7,400 subscribers; high-speed data and phone customer additions of 42,000 each also soundly beat consensus estimates of 22,000 and 25,000 additions, respectively.
But the Bethpage, N.Y., company missed the mark on revenue and adjusted operating cash flow growth, causing some analysts to wonder if Cablevision's past success is catching up with it.
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