charter-announces-third-quarter-2022-results

Charter Announces Third Quarter 2022 Results

Charter Communications, Inc. (along with its subsidiaries, the “Company” or “Charter”) today reported financial and operating results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022.

  • Third quarter total residential and small and medium business (“SMB”) Internet customers increased by 75,000. As of September 30, 2022, Charter served a total of 30.3 million residential and SMB Internet customers.
  • Third quarter total residential and SMB mobile lines increased by 396,000. As of September 30, 2022, Charter served a total of 4.7 million mobile lines.
  • As of September 30, 2022, Charter had a total of 32.1 million residential and SMB customer relationships, which excludes mobile-only relationships.
  • Third quarter revenue of $13.6 billion grew by 3.1% year-over-year, driven by mobile revenue growth of 40.2%, advertising sales revenue growth of 22.9% and residential revenue growth of 0.7%.
  • Net income attributable to Charter shareholders totaled $1.2 billion in the third quarter.
  • Third quarter Adjusted EBITDA1 of $5.4 billion grew by 2.4% year-over-year.
  • Third quarter capital expenditures totaled $2.4 billion and included $525 million of rural construction initiative capital expenditures and $96 million of mobile-related capital expenditures.
  • Third quarter net cash flows from operating activities totaled $3.8 billion, compared to $4.3 billion in the prior year quarter. The year-over-year decline was primarily due to higher cash taxes and the payment of litigation settlements, partly offset by higher Adjusted EBITDA.
  • Third quarter free cash flow1 of $1.5 billion decreased by 39.1% year-over-year, primarily due to capital expenditures associated with Charter’s rural construction initiative and higher cash taxes.
  • During the third quarter, Charter purchased 5.8 million shares of Charter Class A common stock and Charter Communications Holdings, LLC (“Charter Holdings”) common units for approximately $2.6 billion.

“Charter now delivers the nation’s first converged broadband, WiFi and mobile experience at prices that generate significant savings for consumers,” said Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO of Charter. “And as I look at our existing advanced offerings, and our future product capabilities, we are well positioned to grow our business at very attractive rates for many years to come.”

1.

Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are non-GAAP measures defined in the “Use of Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow Information” section and are reconciled to net income attributable to Charter shareholders and net cash flows from operating activities, respectively, in the addendum of this news release.

Key Operating Results

Approximate as of

September 30,
2022
 (a)

September 30,
2021
 (a)

Y/Y Change

Footprint (b)

Estimated Passings

55,288

54,268

1.9 %

Customer Relationships (c)

Residential

29,946

29,823

0.4 %

SMB

2,195

2,126

3.3 %

     Total Customer Relationships

32,141

31,949

0.6 %

Residential

4

163

(159)

SMB

13

22

(9)

     Total Customer Relationships Quarterly Net Additions

17

185

(168)

Total Customer Relationship Penetration of Estimated Passings (d)

58.1 %

58.9 %

(0.8) ppts

Monthly Residential Revenue per Residential Customer (e)

$               115.16

$               115.15

0.0 %

Monthly SMB Revenue per SMB Customer (f)

$               164.89

$               167.29

(1.4) %

Residential Customer Relationships Penetration

Single Play Penetration (g)

48.5 %

46.4 %

2.1 ppts

Double Play Penetration (g)

33.1 %

32.8 %

0.3 ppts

Triple Play Penetration (g)

18.4 %

20.9 %

(2.5) ppts

% Residential Non-Video Customer Relationships

51.1 %

48.7 %

2.4 ppts

Internet

Residential

28,320

27,965

1.3 %

SMB

2,008

1,934

3.8 %

     Total Internet Customers

30,328

29,899

1.4 %

Residential

61

243

(182)

SMB

14

22

(8)

     Total Internet Quarterly Net Additions

75

265

(190)

Video

Residential

14,642

15,287

(4.2) %

SMB

649

604

7.5 %

     Total Video Customers

15,291

15,891

(3.8) %

Residential

(211)

(133)

(78)

SMB

7

12

(5)

     Total Video Quarterly Net Additions

(204)

(121)

(83)

Voice

Residential

7,929

8,784

(9.7) %

SMB

1,287

1,273

1.1 %

     Total Voice Customers

9,216

10,057

(8.4) %

Residential

(271)

(230)

(41)

SMB

14

(14)

     Total Voice Quarterly Net Additions

(271)

(216)

(55)

Mobile Lines (h)

Residential

4,516

3,085

46.4 %

SMB

161

99

63.6 %

     Total Mobile Lines

4,677

3,184

46.9 %

Residential

382

230

152

SMB

14

14

     Total Mobile Lines Quarterly Net Additions

396

244

152

Enterprise (i)

Enterprise Primary Service Units (“PSUs”)

282

269

4.9 %

Enterprise Quarterly Net Additions

5

4

1

Footnotes – In thousands, except per customer and penetration data. See footnotes to unaudited summary of operating statistics on page 6 of the addendum of this news release. The footnotes contain important disclosures regarding the definitions used for these operating statistics.  All percentages are calculated using whole numbers. Minor differences may exist due to rounding. 

As of September 30, 2022, Charter had 29.9 million residential customer relationships, with year-over-year growth of 0.4%.

Third quarter residential Internet customers increased by 61,000, compared to an increase of 243,000 customers during the third quarter of 2021. Spectrum Internet® and Spectrum WiFi deliver the fastest speeds in the nation.1 Charter offers Spectrum Internet products with speeds up to 1 Gbps across its entire footprint. Charter’s Advanced WiFi, a managed WiFi service that provides customers an optimized home network while providing greater control of their connected devices with enhanced security and privacy, is available to nearly all Spectrum Internet customers. In October, Charter introduced Spectrum One, which brings together Spectrum Internet, Advanced WiFi and Unlimited Spectrum MobileTM, to offer consumers faster, more reliable and secure online connections on their favorite devices at home and on the go in a high-value package.

Residential video customers decreased by 211,000 in the third quarter of 2022, compared to a decline of 133,000 in the third quarter of 2021, partly driven by downgrades following an April pass through of higher programming expense. As of September 30, 2022, Charter had 14.6 million residential video customers.

During the third quarter of 2022, residential wireline voice customers declined by 271,000, compared to a decline of 230,000 in the third quarter of 2021. As of September 30, 2022, Charter had 7.9 million residential wireline voice customers.

Third quarter 2022 residential revenue per residential customer (excluding mobile) totaled $115.16, unchanged year-over-year, given promotional rate step-ups and rate adjustments that in part pass through programmer rate increases, partly offset by a higher mix of non-video customer relationships and a higher mix of lower priced video packages within Charter’s video customer base.

SMB customer relationships grew by 13,000 in the third quarter of 2022, while third quarter 2021 SMB customer relationships grew by 22,000. Enterprise PSUs grew by 5,000 in the third quarter of 2022 versus 4,000 added in the third quarter of 2021.

During the third quarter of 2022, Charter added 396,000 mobile lines, compared to growth of 244,000 during the third quarter of 2021. Spectrum Mobile is available to all new and existing Spectrum Internet customers. Spectrum Mobile customers can choose “Unlimited” or “By the Gig” data plans. Unlimited pricing starts at $29.99/month per line, and By the Gig lines are available for $14/GB. All Spectrum Mobile plans offer the fastest overall speeds,2 include 5G access and taxes and fees and do not require contracts. Spectrum One and Spectrum Mobile are central to Charter’s converged network strategy to provide consumers a differentiated connectivity experience with highly competitive, simple data plans and pricing.

1.

Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data U.S. median fixed download speeds for Q3 2022. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

2.

Fastest Overall Speed claim based on Global Wireless Solutions’ combined cellular and WiFi speed test results in Spectrum service area where WiFi is available. Cellular speeds vary by location.

Third Quarter Financial Results

(in millions)

Three Months Ended September 30,

2022

2021

% Change

Revenues:

Internet

$      5,571

$      5,363

3.9 %

Video

4,379

4,502

(2.7) %

Voice

391

409

(4.6) %

Residential revenue

10,341

10,274

0.7 %

Small and medium business

1,082

1,062

1.9 %

Enterprise

673

656

2.6 %

Commercial revenue

1,755

1,718

2.2 %

Advertising sales

481

391

22.9 %

Mobile

750

535

40.2 %

Other

223

228

(2.1) %

Total Revenues

$    13,550

$    13,146

3.1 %

Net income attributable to Charter shareholders

$      1,185

$      1,217

(2.5) %

Net income attributable to Charter shareholders margin

8.8 %

9.3 %

Adjusted EBITDA1

$      5,412

$      5,286

2.4 %

Adjusted EBITDA margin

39.9 %

40.2 %

Capital Expenditures

$      2,406

$      1,861

29.3 %

% Total Revenues

17.8 %

14.2 %

Net cash flows from operating activities

$      3,757

$      4,263

(11.9) %

Free cash flow1

$      1,507

$      2,476

(39.1) %

1.

See page 1 of the addendum for a GAAP reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.

Revenues

Third quarter revenue increased by 3.1% year-over-year to $13.6 billion, driven primarily by growth in mobile, advertising sales and residential revenues.

Residential revenue totaled $10.3 billion in the third quarter, an increase of 0.7% year-over-year.

Internet revenue grew by 3.9% year-over-year to $5.6 billion, driven by growth in Internet customers during the last year, promotional rate step-ups and reduced bundled discounts, partly offset by lower bundled revenue allocation.

Video revenue totaled $4.4 billion in the third quarter, a decrease of 2.7% compared to the prior year period, driven by a higher mix of lower priced video packages within Charter’s video customer base and a decline in video customers during the last year, partly offset by promotional rate step-ups, video rate adjustments that pass through programmer rate increases and higher bundled revenue allocation.

Voice revenue totaled $391 million in the third quarter, a decrease of 4.6% compared to the third quarter of 2021, driven by a decline in wireline voice customers over the last twelve months, partly offset by voice rate adjustments.

Commercial revenue increased by 2.2% year-over-year to $1.8 billion, driven by SMB and enterprise revenue growth of 1.9% and 2.6% year-over-year, respectively. Third quarter 2022 SMB revenue growth was driven by customer relationship growth. Excluding a one-time benefit in the third quarter of 2021, enterprise revenue grew by 5.2% year-over-year, mostly reflecting PSU growth. Enterprise revenue excluding wholesale increased by 9.0% year-over-year.

Third quarter advertising sales revenue of $481 million increased by 22.9% compared to the year-ago quarter, primarily driven by higher political revenue. Excluding political revenue in both periods, advertising sales revenue decreased by 0.2% year-over-year, due to lower national and local advertising revenue, partly offset by higher advanced advertising revenue.

Third quarter mobile revenue totaled $750 million, an increase of 40.2% year-over-year, driven by mobile line growth.

Operating Costs and Expenses

Third quarter programming costs decreased by $112 million, or 3.8% as compared to the third quarter of 2021, reflecting fewer video customers and a higher mix of lower cost packages within Charter’s video customer base, partly offset by contractual programming rate increases and renewals.

Regulatory, connectivity and produced content expenses decreased by $47 million, or 7.4% year-over-year, primarily driven by lower video CPE sold to customers.

Costs to service customers increased by $83 million, or 4.4% year-over-year. The year-over-year increase in costs to service customers was primarily driven by higher bad debt and higher fuel and freight costs, partly offset by productivity improvements. Costs to service customers excluding bad debt increased by 3.0% year-over-year.

Marketing expenses increased by $73 million, or 9.3% year-over-year, due to higher staffing levels and wages as Charter focuses on providing better service to new and existing customers.

Third quarter mobile costs totaled $846 million, an increase of 39.4% year-over-year, and were comprised of device costs, customer acquisition costs and service and operating costs.

Other expenses increased by $42 million, or 4.4% as compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Net Income Attributable to Charter Shareholders

Net income attributable to Charter shareholders totaled $1.2 billion in the third quarters of 2022 and 2021, as higher Adjusted EBITDA was offset by higher interest expense, net.

Net income per basic common share attributable to Charter shareholders totaled $7.51 in the third quarter of 2022 compared to $6.69 during the same period last year. The increase was primarily the result of a 13.2% decrease in basic weighted average common shares outstanding versus the prior year period, in addition to the factors described above.

Adjusted EBITDA

Third quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $5.4 billion grew by 2.4% year-over-year, reflecting growth in revenue and operating expenses of 3.1% and 3.5%, respectively.

Capital Expenditures

Property, plant and equipment expenditures totaled $2.4 billion in the third quarter of 2022, compared to $1.9 billion during the third quarter of 2021, primarily driven by an increase in rural construction initiative spend. Third quarter capital expenditures included $525 million of rural construction initiative spend, most of which was included in line extensions. Third quarter capital expenditures also included $96 million of mobile costs, most of which related to information technology systems and were included in support capital and scalable infrastructure. Cable capital expenditures, excluding capital expenditures associated with the rural construction initiative, increased to $1.8 billion in the third quarter of 2022, compared to $1.7 billion in the prior year quarter, primarily due to higher customer premise equipment and scalable infrastructure spending.

Charter currently expects full year 2022 cable capital expenditures, excluding capital expenditures associated with its rural construction initiative, to be between $7.1 billion and $7.3 billion.

Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow

During the third quarter of 2022, net cash flows from operating activities totaled $3.8 billion, compared to $4.3 billion in the prior year quarter. The year-over-year decrease in net cash flows from operating activities was primarily due to higher cash taxes and the payment of litigation settlements, partly offset by higher Adjusted EBITDA.

Free cash flow in the third quarter of 2022 totaled $1.5 billion, compared to $2.5 billion during the same period last year. The year-over-year decrease in free cash flow was primarily driven by a decrease in net cash flows from operating activities and an increase in capital expenditures.

Liquidity & Financing

As of September 30, 2022, total principal amount of debt was $96.8 billion and Charter’s credit facilities provided approximately $4.6 billion of additional liquidity in excess of Charter’s $480 million cash position.

In August 2022, CCO Holdings, LLC and CCO Holdings Capital Corp. jointly issued $1.5 billion of 6.375% senior unsecured notes due September 2029 at par. The net proceeds were used for general corporate purposes, including to fund buybacks of Charter Class A common stock and Charter Holdings common units, to repay certain indebtedness and to pay related fees and expenses.

Share Repurchases

During the three months ended September 30, 2022, Charter purchased 5.8 million shares of Charter Class A common stock and Charter Holdings common units for approximately $2.6 billion. During the nine months ended September 30, 2022, Charter purchased 20.2 million shares of Charter Class A common stock and Charter Holdings common units, or 10.1% of fully diluted shares outstanding (including as-exchanged Charter Holdings common units) as of December 31, 2021, for approximately $10.4 billion.

Webcast

Charter will host a webcast on Friday, October 28, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) related to the contents of this release.

The webcast can be accessed live via the Company’s investor relations website at ir.charter.com. Participants should go to the webcast link no later than 10 minutes prior to the start time to register. The webcast will be archived at ir.charter.com two hours after completion of the webcast.

Additional Information Available on Website

The information in this press release should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and footnotes contained in the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022, which will be posted on the “Results & SEC Filings” section of the Company’s investor relations website at ir.charter.com, when it is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). A slide presentation to accompany the conference call and a trending schedule containing historical customer and financial data will also be available in the “Results & SEC Filings” section.

Use of Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow Information

The Company uses certain measures that are not defined by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) to evaluate various aspects of its business. Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are non-GAAP financial measures and should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, net income attributable to Charter shareholders and net cash flows from operating activities reported in accordance with GAAP. These terms, as defined by Charter, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies. Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are reconciled to net income attributable to Charter shareholders and net cash flows from operating activities, respectively, in the Addendum to this release.

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income attributable to Charter shareholders plus net income attributable to noncontrolling interest, net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, stock compensation expense, other income (expenses), net and other operating (income) expenses, net, such as special charges and (gain) loss on sale or retirement of assets. As such, it eliminates the significant non-cash depreciation and amortization expense that results from the capital-intensive nature of the Company’s businesses as well as other non-cash or special items, and is unaffected by the Company’s capital structure or investment activities. However, this measure is limited in that it does not reflect the periodic costs of certain capitalized tangible and intangible assets used in generating revenues and the cash cost of financing. These costs are evaluated through other financial measures.

Free cash flow is defined as net cash flows from operating activities, less capital expenditures and changes in accrued expenses related to capital expenditures.

Management and Charter’s board of directors use Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow to assess Charter’s performance and its ability to service its debt, fund operations and make additional investments with internally generated funds. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA generally correlates to the leverage ratio calculation under the Company’s credit facilities or outstanding notes to determine compliance with the covenants contained in the facilities and notes (all such documents have been previously filed with the SEC). For the purpose of calculating compliance with leverage covenants, the Company uses Adjusted EBITDA, as presented, excluding certain expenses paid by its operating subsidiaries to other Charter entities. The Company’s debt covenants refer to these expenses as management fees, which were $342 million and $1.0 billion for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022, respectively, and $337 million and $979 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021, respectively.