October 25, 2019 / 11:29 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Cable operator Charter's quarterly earnings edge past estimates

(Adds details on broadband, results)

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc edged past analysts' estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit on Friday, as the cable operator attracted more customers for its broadband services, offsetting a drop in pay TV subscribers.

The second-largest broadband provider in the United States added 282,000 residential customers in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

The growing popularity of streaming services offered by Netflix Inc, Hulu, and Amazon.com's Prime video has encouraged a trend of "cord cutting", hurting cable companies.

Netflix added slightly more paying subscribers than Wall Street expected in the third quarter, just as Disney and Apple prepare to launch rival services, heating up streaming video wars.

The change in consumer behaviour has driven companies including Charter and Comcast Corp to focus on their broadband businesses and high-speed internet upgrades as they look to stay ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing media landscape.

Comcast beat Wall Street profit and revenue estimates on Thursday, as the company added high-speed internet customers.

Charter reported a loss of 75,000 residential video customers in the quarter.

Third-quarter total operating costs and expenses increased by $423 million, or 6.1%, from a year earlier.

Net income attributable to shareholders fell to $387 million, or $1.74 per share, in the reported quarter from $493 million, or $2.11 per share, a year earlier.

The year-over-year drop in net income was due to a pension remeasurement gain in the third quarter of 2018.

Total revenue rose 5.1% to $11.45 billion. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $11.41 billion and profit of $1.66, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Shares in Charter were nearly 4% higher in trading before the bell. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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