fell well short of Wall Street's bottom line estimates Thursday, sending shares lower.
The Bethpage, N.Y., cable giant said its first-quarter loss widened to $31.6 million, or 11 cents a share. Those numbers compare with a year-ago loss of $26.3 million, or 9 cents a share. In the fourth quarter, Cablevision had swung to a profit of $6.6 million, or 2 cents a share, from a loss of $23.9 million, or 8 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Sales for the quarter rose 10.2% from a year ago to $1.72 billion, but was down 6.5% sequentially.
While the company's loss of 11 cents a share widely missed the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a profit of 2 cents a share, Cablevision topped the average revenue target of $1.69 billion. Still, shares were off 10 cents, or 0.4%, to $23.65.
Cablevision said it added 197,000 revenue generating units, or RGU, during the quarter, as the company saw significant customer additions in its basic video, digital video, Internet and voice businesses.
"Cablevision had a very solid start to 2008 with strong gains in net revenue ... fueled largely by continuing growth in the company's core cable business," CEO Jim Dolan said in a press release. "For the first quarter, we added customers across all of our consumer services, including basic video, and became the first cable company to achieve a 50% penetration rate for high speed Internet."
Cablevision's earnings statement comes a day after the company said it will purchase the Sundance Channel for $496 million from
and entities controlled by the channel's founder Robert Redford. The cable network will become part of Cablevision's Rainbow Media.
The cable operator's results come a week after rival
reported better-than-expected top line results.
is set to report quarterly results Monday.