Charter Communications Inc., the cable television company controlled by billionaire Paul Allen, had a narrower second-quarter loss and a 25% jump in sales as more customers bought digital and high-speed Internet service.
The net loss shrank to $202 million, or 69 cents a share, from $273.9 million, or $1.07, helped by a change in acquisition-related accounting. Revenue rose to $1.16 billion from $928.5 million, Charter said in a statement. Per-share results are after the payment of preferred dividends.
Charter, whose shares have declined 84% this year amid investor concern about the company's rising debt, said it expects pricier services such as digital cable and fast Web access to compensate for a decline in basic cable subscribers by year's end.
The cable operator forecast third-quarter sales of $1.19 billion to $1.2 billion, up from $1.04 billion a year earlier.
"The results are slightly better than I would have forecast," said Matt Kaufler, who helps manage $1.8 billion at Clover Capital Management, a holder of 775,000 Charter shares. The issue with Charter, though, is the "ongoing concerns about their debt load."
Shares of the St. Louis, Mo.-based company rose 33 cents, or 13%, to $2.97 on Nasdaq.