Charter

(CHTR) - Get Report

sagged 6% early Monday after posting a wider first-quarter loss.

For its quarter ended March 31, Charter reported a loss of $294 million, or $1 a share, which is wider than its year-ago deficit of $182 million, or 62 cents a share. Revenue rose 3% to $1.21 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call projected a loss of 32 cents a share on revenue of $1.23 billion.

Of course, the debt-heavy St. Louis-based cable system operator prefers nonstandard metrics such as pro forma revenue, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and "unlevered free cash flow." Using those yardsticks, which aren't recognized by financial market regulators, the latest quarter looks somewhat better.

For the first quarter, pro forma revenue rose 5% to $1.19 billion. Adjusted EBITDA rose 3%, and unlevered free cash flow fell to $273 million from $354 million a year earlier as capital spending rose.

Free cash flow swung to a loss of $27 million from the year-ago $70 million surplus.

Charter said the results came as it added 125,200 residential high-speed data customers, on a pro forma basis. High-speed data revenue rose 38% from a year ago.

The company also added 68,800 digital video customers and lost 8,500 analog video customers. Meanwhile, capital spending jumped 83% on "increased customer adoption of advanced services, including high definition television and digital video recorder technology."

On Monday, Charter slipped 23 cents, to $3.63.