YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Liberty Media's Loss Shrinks to $464 Million

Second-quarter revenue also declines because of a legal dispute with cable operator Comcast.

August 14, 2003|From Bloomberg News

Liberty Media Corp., the company controlled by John C. Malone, on Wednesday said its loss narrowed to $464 million in the second quarter. Revenue declined 2% because of a legal dispute with cable-television provider Comcast Corp.

The net loss shrank to 17 cents a share from $3.1 billion, or $1.20, a year earlier, when Liberty wrote down the value of investments. Revenue fell to $500 million from $510 million, the Englewood, Colo.-based company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Revenue and profit at Starz Encore Group, the largest business that Liberty controls, have been depressed by a legal dispute with Comcast over the fees it pays to carry Starz's cable networks. Comcast withheld $45 million that Starz Encore claims it is owed in the first half of this year, according to Liberty, which bought AT&T Corp.'s cable-TV systems last year.

Philadelphia-based Comcast argues that it should pay Starz Encore at the lower rate specified in its own contract rather than the higher fee that AT&T had paid.

Starz filed a lawsuit against Comcast last year in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, asking the court to force Comcast to pay the higher rate.

Liberty's loss a year earlier included a $5.13-billion expense to write down the value of investments.

Liberty said its operating loss in the recent quarter was $46 million, compared with operating profit of $13 million a year earlier. The company's shares Wednesday fell 17 cents to $10.97 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have risen 23% this year.

Los Angeles Times Articles