Cablevision Beats Estimates but Its Losses Increase

The wider losses grew out of increased spending on upgrading its systems for digital television and other new services.
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Cablevision

(CVC)

posted a wider loss Thursday but reported strong across-the-board growth.

Shares in the New York-based cable operator fell slightly in midmorning trading Thursday, dropping 1/2, or 1%, to 70 1/2. (The stock closed Thursday down 2 5/8, or 3.7%, at 68 3/8.)

Cablevision posted a $216 million loss for the fourth quarter, or $1.27 a share, from $184.7 million, or $1.22 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

projected a loss of $1.28.

The company said the wider losses grew out of increased spending on upgrading its systems for digital television and other new services.

Jessica Reif-Cohen, the influential media analyst at

Merrill Lynch

, called the results "excellent" in a note issued Thursday morning. She said subscriber growth, which increased at a 2.7% clip, was "at the high end of the industry average." Reif-Cohen had projected a subscriber increase of 2.5%. She also cited better-than-expected growth in the company's high-speed data subscribers, its Long Island commercial telephone subscribers and its

Rainbow Media

unit, which includes cable channels

American Movie Classics

and

Bravo

.

Cablevision revenues increased to $1.16 billion from $977.3 million.