In keeping with its global communications position and
strategy, United International Holdings Inc. will change its name to UnitedGlobalCom, and
will change its trading symbol on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated
Quotation system to "UCOMA" on June 14.
Company director of finance Stanley Di Cicco said the name
change was made to better reflect United's operations and to create better recognition
among the company's growing customer base.
"This more aptly reflects what we are," Di Cicco
said. "We're an operating company and we have been for a couple of years. Right now
we own, control and consolidate nearly 100 percent of our operations. We're more than just
United, based in Denver, primarily operates cable holdings
outside of the United States. Its three biggest operating subsidiaries are United
Pan-Europe Communications, which provides a range of cable television, telephony and
high-speed Internet services in 12 countries; Austar Communications, one of the largest
broadband communications companies in Australia and New Zealand; and VTR Hipercable, the
largest cable television operator in Chile.
Broadband services are becoming an increasingly larger part
of United's business, Di Cicco said. With that growing customer base, a name that better
represents the company's services and mission was warranted, he added.
"When people look at the name, they're not going to
say 'What do you guys do?' " Di Cicco said.
UnitedGlobalCom operating systems pass about 11.2 million
homes and serve more than 5.5 million video subscribers in more than 20 countries. The
company also has more than 162,000 telephone access lines and 40,000 Internet access
customers. Its programming services reach about 6.4 million subscribers worldwide.
United posted net income of $688.4 million in its most
recent quarter, ended March 31, largely due to an $825.2 million one-time gain from the
initial public offering of its United Pan-Europe subsidiary. The net income compares with
a loss of $189.5 million in the same period a year ago. UIH's revenue surged 60.1 percent
from the first quarter of 1998 to $107.9 million, while its operating loss rose 42.7
percent to $72.3 million.
United Pan Europe went public in February, selling 44.6
million shares, or roughly 40 percent of the company. Di Cicco said United Pan Europe will
not be affected by the name change and will still be traded on the NASDAQ system under the
UnitedGlobalCom's stock was trading in the $72.50 range
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