ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 7, 2006--Charter Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHTR) (along with its subsidiaries, the "Company" or "Charter") today announced preliminary revenues, adjusted EBITDA, and customer results for the first quarter of 2006. The Company released these preliminary results based upon information available to date because Charter will be providing this information to certain potential investors as part of its credit facility refinancing, announced earlier this week.
The Company said it expects revenues for the first quarter to be in the range of $1.365 billion to $1.380 billion, an increase of 7.5% to 8.5% compared with the first quarter of 2005. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be essentially flat compared with the year-ago period. Operating expenses are expected to increase for the quarter, primarily due to increased programming expenses from annual rate increases and higher customer counts, as well as higher costs associated with improved customer service levels and increased marketing spending.
During the quarter, Charter experienced net gains in all customer categories compared with the first quarter of 2005:
-- Analog video customers increased approximately 29,400 (including approximately 17,500 customers acquired in the Seren acquisition), compared with a net loss of 6,700; -- Digital video customers increased approximately 70,100 (including approximately 8,000 customers acquired in the Seren acquisition), compared with a net gain of 19,900; -- High-speed Internet customers increased approximately 126,000 (including approximately 13,200 customers acquired in the Seren acquisition), compared with a net gain of 94,000; -- Telephone customers increased approximately 69,600 (including approximately 14,500 customers acquired in the Seren acquisition), compared with a net gain of 9,900.
"We're continuing to see positive results in revenue and customer growth from our targeted marketing efforts and investments in customer service," said Neil Smit, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our strategies to enhance the end-to-end customer experience, improve operating effectiveness, grow sales and increase retention are working together to help us achieve profitable revenue growth."
Charter also announced that it expects capital expenditures for the first quarter to range from $235 million to $260 million, down sequentially from $273 million in the fourth quarter of 2005 but up from $211 million in the first quarter of 2005. The Company continues to anticipate that capital expenditures for the full year will be approximately $1.0 billion to $1.1 billion.
Because the first quarter has only recently ended, the information in this release is based only upon preliminary information currently available to Charter. Charter will announce complete financial and operating results on Tuesday, May 2, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) and will host a conference call to discuss these results at 9:00 a.m. ET that same day.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Metrics
The Company uses certain measures that are not defined by GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) to evaluate various aspects of its business. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, net cash flows from operating activities reported in accordance with GAAP. These terms as defined by Charter may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.
Adjusted EBITDA is defined as income from operations before special charges, non-cash depreciation and amortization, gain/loss on sale or retirement of assets, asset or franchise impairment charges, option compensation expense, and unfavorable contracts and settlements. As such, it eliminates the significant non-cash depreciation and amortization expense that results from the capital-intensive nature of the Company's businesses and intangible assets recognized in business combinations as well as other non-cash or non-recurring items, and is unaffected by the Company's capital structure or investment activities. Adjusted EBITDA is a liquidity measure used by Company management and the Board of Directors to measure the Company's ability to fund operations and its financing obligations. For this reason, it is a significant component of Charter's annual incentive compensation program. However, this measure is limited in that it does not reflect the periodic costs of certain capitalized tangible and intangible assets used in generating revenues, and the cash cost of financing for the Company. Company management evaluates these costs through other financial measures.
The Company believes that adjusted EBITDA provides information useful to investors in assessing Charter's ability to service its debt, fund operations, and make additional investments with internally generated funds. In addition, adjusted EBITDA generally correlates to the leverage ratio calculation under the Company's credit facilities or outstanding notes to determine compliance with the covenants contained in the facilities and notes (all such documents have been previously filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission).
About Charter Communications
Charter Communications, Inc., a leading broadband communications company, provides a full range of advanced broadband services to the home, including cable television on an advanced digital video programming platform via Charter Digital(TM), Charter High-Speed(TM) Internet service and Charter Telephone(TM). Charter Business(TM) provides scalable, tailored and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to organizations of all sizes through business-to-business Internet, data networking, video and music services. Advertising sales and production services are sold under the Charter Media(R) brand. More information about Charter can be found at www.charter.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), regarding, among other things, our plans, strategies and prospects, both business and financial. The Company will not undertake to revise forward-looking projections to reflect events after this date. Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or realize these plans, intentions or expectations. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many of the forward-looking statements contained in this release may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "should," "planned," "will," "may," "intend," "estimated" and "potential," among others. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements we make in this release are set forth in reports or documents that we file from time to time with the SEC, and include, but are not limited to:
-- the availability, in general, of funds to meet interest payment obligations under our debt and to fund our operations and necessary capital expenditures, either through cash flows from operating activities, further borrowings or other sources and, in particular, our ability to be able to provide under applicable debt instruments such funds (by dividend, investment or otherwise) to the applicable obligor of such debt; -- our ability to comply with all covenants in our indentures, the bridge loan and credit facilities, any violation of which would result in a violation of the applicable facility or indenture and could trigger a default of other obligations under cross-default provisions; -- our ability to pay or refinance debt prior to or when it becomes due and/or to take advantage of market opportunities and market windows to refinance that debt through new issuances, exchange offers or otherwise, including restructuring our balance sheet and leverage position; -- our ability to sustain and grow revenues and cash flows from operating activities by offering video, high-speed Internet, telephone and other services and to maintain and grow a stable customer base, particularly in the face of increasingly aggressive competition from other service providers; -- our ability to obtain programming at reasonable prices or to pass programming cost increases on to our customers; -- general business conditions, economic uncertainty or slowdown; and -- the effects of governmental regulation, including but not limited to local franchise authorities, on our business.
All forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. We are under no duty or obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
CONTACT: Charter Communications, Inc., St. Louis
Anita Lamont, 314-543-2215
Ken Cook, 314-543-2397
Cathy Levendoski, 314-543-2397
SOURCE: Charter Communications, Inc.