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TCI’S results on the right track

Despite heavy reregulation and rate rollbacks ordered by the federal government, Tele-Communications Inc. reported improved financial results for 1993. It included a narrowing of net losses and a 13.5% hike in cash flow.

For the full year, TCI announced a net loss of $ 9 million, or a loss of 2 cents a share, for the full year. That compares with a net loss of $ 23 million (1 cents) last year.

TCI, the largest cable operator in the U.S., with wires in about one in every five cable homes, didn’t break out fourth-quarter results separately. Dow Jones, however, said the company showed a $ 44 million decline for the quarter, plus a one-time expense of $ 21 million.

Audited operating cash flow rose to $ 1.858 billion in 1993 from $ 1.637 billion in 1992.

Total revenue for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1993, was $ 4.153 billion compared to $ 3.574 billion in calendar 1993. That 16.2% spike was fueled by “continued strong subscriber growth,” according to the company.

TCI said earlier this year that the most recent rate reductions imposed by the Federal Communications Commission could cost the company a loss of about $ 144 million in annual revenues for 1994. The company says it’s piling that loss on top of a decline of between $ 140 million and $ 160 million already estimated for 1994 based on the original rollbacks in the monthly bills of TCI’s subscribers, which the FCC announced late last year.

But these financial hits will not have any appreciable effect on the available credit TCI can tap into, or its ability to meet debt obligations, the company said.

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