Altice USA lost 15,000 video subscribers in Q4

Altice USA today reported fourth-quarter earnings marked by a loss of 15,000 video subscribers, an improvement over the 25,000 the company lost in the year-ago quarter.

Thanks to broadband subscriber growth, the company’s total unique residential customer relationships remained mostly stable year over year with quarterly net additions of 7,000. Residential average revenue per customer (ARPU) per unique customer increased 1.9% year over year to approximately $142.

Altice USA (which incorporates the footprints of both Optimum and Suddenlink) could have its Altice One pay TV platform to thank in part for improved video subscriber numbers. The company said it now has more than 300,000 unique Altice One customers (approximately 10% of total video customers) and that it’s achieving higher net promoter scores for Altice One compared to legacy set top boxes. During the fourth quarter the company launched the updated Altice One operating system 2.0.

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"Altice USA has once again delivered great financial performance, meeting all of our guidance targets for 2018, and hitting many more operational milestones. Throughout the year, we drove improved subscriber trends and accelerated revenue growth, achieved our highest ever margins, and generated material growth in free cash flow. We enter 2019 continuing on our fast-paced journey defined by innovation and simplicity to deliver state-of-the-art connectivity services, advanced business solutions and high-quality content.”

Altice USA’s consolidated revenue grew 4% in the fourth quarter to reach $2.45 billion. That increase was due to modest residential revenue growth of 2.1%, business services revenue growth of 5.3% and big advertising revenue growth of 33.2%. The company attributed its strong advertising growth to increases in local and national multi-screen advertising solutions provided by a4, as well as NY Interconnect growth based on political.

For the full year, Altice USA notched revenue growth of 2.8% while adjusted EBITDA expanded to $4.16 billion. Capital expenditures for 2018 swelled to $1.15 billion after totaling approximately $951 million in 2017.