Time Warner Cable said in its fourth-quarter earnings this morning that it had initiated a regular dividend of 40 cents per share, while also announcing its revenue had increased.
Fourth-quarter 2009 revenues increased 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008 to $4.5 billion. Subscription revenues increased year-over-year to $4.3 billion, driven by a 3.6 percent increase in residential subscription revenues and a 14.1 increase in commercial subscription revenues. Advertising revenues were down 17.6 percent to $201 million.
Full-year revenues increased 3.9 percent over 2008 to $17.9 billion. Subscription revenues grew 5.3 percent to $17.2 billion, with residential subscription revenues increasing 4.8 percent and commercial subscription revenues growing 15.4 percent. Advertising revenues declined 21.8 percent to $702 million.
Time Warner Cable said the decline in the quarter and full-year advertising revenues were the result of fewer automobile, media and political ads.
“We enter 2010 with a strong business and a strong balance sheet, and we are very pleased to demonstrate confidence in our free cash flow by initiating a meaningful quarterly dividend,” Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said. “In the year ahead, we are excited about the investments we are making to drive further growth, and we expect to execute with the same discipline our investors have come to expect. We are well positioned to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
The nation’s second-largest cable operator also saw continued erosion in its video subscriber numbers with the loss of roughly 105,000 customers in the quarter, to close the year at 12.86 million. Cable operators have been losing video customers to satellite providers that have made deep cuts in the prices of their video services.
Video revenue increased 1.6 percent to $2.69 billion. Time Warner Cable said customers were cutting back on VOD orders and premium movie channels, which led to the slower growth in video revenues. The company added 56,000 new digital customers in the quarter.
Data revenue increased 7.5 percent to $1.16 billion, helped by the addition of 120,000 new residential data subscribers.
Digital phone service revenue rose 11.3 percent to $484 million, with the addition of 75,000 new residential phone subscribers.
The Denver Post reported that Time Warner Cable was laying off 350 employees in Colorado, which represents 30 percent of its workforce in the state. The job cuts are coming from the closure of a call center and Time Warner Cable’s National Division headquarters.