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Charter Keeps Up With the Big Boys

5/09/2009 2:00 AM Eastern

Charter Communications, still winding through the bankruptcy courts since its March 27 Chapter 11 filing, reported a surprisingly strong first quarter, with revenue up 6.5% and cash flow rising 13.2% fueled by growth in high-speed Internet and telephone subscribers.

Basic video customers declined by 22,000 in the period, but high-speed Internet subscribers rose by 71,900 and telephony customers increased by 74,300, outpacing most analysts’ estimates.

Charter filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 27, a prepackaged deal that will shave about $8 billion in debt from its balance sheet and pump another $3 billion in new equity into the company. Earlier this week, Charter crossed another milestone in the process — the bankruptcy court approved its disclosure statement — and a stakeholder vote on the plan is set for June 15.

Despite the distraction of the bankruptcy filing, Charter managed to report financial results that were slightly ahead of its larger peers – earlier Time Warner Cable reported 4,9% revenue and 7.5% cash flow growth and Comcast tallied 5.3% revenue and 8% cash flow growth in the first quarter.

September