Cable Operators

Fitch Gives Its Insight on Insight

5/07/2004 5:44 AM Eastern

Fitch Ratings Ltd. said Friday that it has initiated coverage of Insight Communications Co. Inc.

The ratings firm said it anticipates that the MSO will generate approximately $50 million of free cash flow during 2004. Insight generated approximately $51 million of free cash flow during the first quarter.

The company’s strong first-quarter performance was attributable to lower cash-interest payments -- Insight's cash-interest payments on its bonds are due during the second and fourth quarters -- and a positive contribution from changes in working capital, Fitch said.

Fitch added that continued growth of high-margin products such as high-speed data and advanced digital products will be central to Insight’s ability to generate positive free cash flow in 2004.

Fitch’s report card: The ratings firm assigned a “CCC+” rating to Insight’s 12.25% senior discount notes due 2011; a “B+” to its 9.75% senior unsecured notes due 2009 and its 10.50% senior unsecured notes due 2010; and a “BB+” to the senior secured bank facility at holdings. Fitch added that the rating outlook for all of the ratings is “stable.”

September