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Charter Heads Lower

Shares fall on an earnings miss.


(CHTR) - Get Charter Communications, Inc. Class A Report

sank 5% Tuesday after swinging to a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss.

The St. Louis-based cable system operator lost $333 million, or $1.02 a share, from continuing operations, reversing the year-ago profit of $72 million, or 8 cents a share.

Revenue rose 9.7% from a year ago to $1.39 billion.

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Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 71-cent loss on revenue of $1.38 billion.

"During the third quarter we increased marketing spending targeting high-value relationships, and accelerated phone service launches to enable bundled service offerings and to generate improved revenue growth," said CEO Neil Smit.

"We're building momentum, and I believe the operating improvements we've implemented over the past year, along with ongoing refinements to our geographic footprint, have positioned us for continued growth," he said.

On a pro forma basis, bundled customers increased 19% from a year ago and revenue generating units rose 20%.

Telephone customers climbed 30% from June 30. Telephone homes passed grew to approximately 5.9 million as of Sept. 30.

Shares fell 11 cents to $2.19.