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Charter Communications Shares Dive

October 2, 2002

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Shares of Charter Communications Inc. plunged to a 52-week low Wednesday, a day after the nation’s fourth-largest cable company reduced its third-quarter forecast citing declining subscriptions

The St. Louis-based company, with more than 6.7 million customers in 40 states and controlled by billionaire Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, said Tuesday its revenue for the current three-month period would rise 13 percent, down from its previous guidance of 13.7 percent.

Charter shares on Wednesday fell 42 cents, or 21 percent, to close Wednesday at $1.58 on the Nasdaq stock exchange, well below their 52-week high of $17.05. In July 2001, Charter shares fetched more than $24.

Kent Kalkwarf, Charter’s chief financial officer, told analysts Tuesday that additional financial details would be offered when the company releases its third-quarter results Nov. 5.

Well before Tuesday, Charter had said it expected to lose basic cable subscribers this year, many of them to satellite broadcasters _ an ominous sign at a time when cable companies must be in as many homes as possible so they can sell the other lucrative services, including video on demand.

In August, the company told analysts its third-quarter revenue likely would come in at the low end of its forecasts.

Charter’s shares have been furthered pressured by the disclosure in August that a federal grand jury was peeking into its bookkeeping. Though Charter has maintained it has done nothing wrong with its accounting practices, several shareholder lawsuits accuse the company of improper accounting in a bid to inflate earnings.


On the Net:

Charter Communications, http://www.chartercom.com

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