Mediacom posted an 8.3% year-over-year increase in Q4 ’08 revenues and a 37.5% rise in operating income today but a net loss of $69.988 million ($0.74 per share), up from the $36.872 million net loss it posted in Q4 ’07. For the full year, the company posted a net loss of $77.494 million ($0.81 per share). That’s an improvement from its $95.129 million net loss in 2007, however. In a sign of the times, CEO Rocco B. Commisso commented on Mediacom’s 4Q08 earnings call that he is “…proud to say that we achieved everything that we have done without any help from the government.”
Given the poor economy, Mediacom’s operating results weren’t bad. Not many MSOs can say that these days. The company’s customer base, measured in revenue generating units, increased 33,000 from end Q3 to end Q4 while average monthly revenue per basic subscriber rose nearly 9% to $90.88 on a quarterly year-over-year basis. Revenue rose 8.4% to more than $1.4 billion and operating income 25.4% to $278.9 million for the full year with revenue generating units posting a record 222,000 rise to reach 2,946,000.
Growth in high-speed data and phone customers drove revenue growth in Q4, according to management’s report, with video revenues rising 3.5% on a quarterly year-over-year basis. Increases in rates and higher service fees for basic video service subscribers, including DVRs and HDTV, were partially offset by a net loss of basic subscribers. Mediacom’s basic subscriber base shrank by 6,000 during Q4 ’08 as compared to a loss of 7,000 in Q4 ’07.
Its digital customer base continued to grow, increasing 19,000 in Q4 to reach 643,000, a 48.8% penetration rate of basic subscribers. As of year-end ’08 33.2% of Mediacom’s customers were receiving DVR and/or HDTV services.
High-speed data and phone revenues also showed strong, rising 16.3% and 47.6%, respectively. The latter was driven primarily by 12% year-over-year unit growth. The company’s high-speed data customer base increased by 11,000 as compared to 22,000 in the year-ago quarter and ending the year at 737,000, a 25.8% penetration rate of estimated homes passed. Growth in phone revenues was driven primarily by a growing customer base, which increased 9,000 during Q4, as well as less in the way of price discounting. The Q4 customer add was down from 20,000 in Q4 ’07, however.