TCI units report mixed earnings

Three units of Tele-Communications Inc. reported second-quarter results Thursday, while awaiting regulatory and shareholder approval for being combined under the Liberty Media banner and headed by TCI chief John C. Malone.

TCI Ventures, the largest of the three, announced that its net loss narrowed 23% to $86 million as revenues fell 89% to $225 million.

The company attributed the results to its share of net losses of affiliates, including Sprint PCS, Telewest and Teleport.

Second TCI unit Liberty Media said its net loss of $65 million compared with earnings of $7 million in the year-earlier quarter, while revenues rose 175% to $165 million.

Like TCI Ventures, Liberty attributed its results to its share in losses of affiliates, as well as increases in stock compensation and interest expense.

Liberty’s revenues were boosted by such additions since last year as STARZ!, Encore Media Group and TCI Music.

Third TCI unit, Tele-Communications Intl., or TINTA, reported that its net loss widened 34.4% to $43 million as revenues plunged 81.1% to $13 million.

The revenue’s shortfall reflects TINTA’s reduced ownership in Cablevision, the Argentine cabler in which TINTA halved its equity position last October to 26%.

TCI Ventures announced its intentions to merge with Liberty Media on June 24, at the same time parent company TCI announced its merger agreement with AT&T Corp.

A Liberty/TCI Ventures combination is not conditional on TCI’s consummating its merger with AT&T, however.

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