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Blurry Cablevision

Media conglom narrows losses but stock dips

Rainbow Media parent Cablevision Systems posted narrower losses for the second quarter but the stock fell Thursday as the cabler also lowered guidance for the full year, blaming a soft economy.

Net losses tightened to $122 million from $171 million. Revenue rose 7% to $1.1 billion on a pro forma basis.

Company, which has about 3 million cable subscribers in the New York area, cut cash flow growth expectations this year for its cable high-speed Internet and Long Island Lightpath telephone businesses.

It also trimmed guidance numbers for its telecom biz and said it only expects to increase its cable sub count by 1%.

Stock hit by AT&T sale

The shares fell 3.7% to $51.86. Stock wasn’t helped by an agreement, also announced Thursday, that allows AT&T to sell up to $1 billion of Cablevision stock and lets Cablevision sell $1 billion of convertible preferred stock.

AT&T said last spring it may sell most of its 30% stake in Cablevision as part of its effort to pare down debt. AOL Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin has said he’d like to own Cablevision, which would nicely flesh out Time Warner’s giant Gotham cable presence.

Radio Media saw pro forma revenue rise 22% to $148 million. Operating cash flow was about flat at $34 million.

Rainbow, which is also publicly traded, houses national cable nets American Movie Classics, Bravo, the Independent Film Channel, WE: Women’s Entertainment and stakes in regional Fox Sports Networks outside of New York.

Cablevision also owns a handful of New York entertainment venues like Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, the New York Knicks and Rangers, the Wiz retail electronics chain and Clearview Cinemas.

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