Altice USA Swings to Fourth-Quarter Profit on Tax Gain

The company, led by CEO Dexter Goei, benefited from a $2.33 billion gain for its cable business following the recent tax law overhaul.

Cable operator Altice USA on Tuesday swung to a fourth-quarter profit after it posted a $2.33 billion financial gain owing to the recent corporate tax reform.

That helped the cabler earn net income for the three months to Dec. 31, 2017, at $2.25 billion, or $3.06 per share, against a loss of $236.7 million, or 36 cents per share, in the last quarter of 2016.

Overall revenue grew 2.6 percent to $2.37 billion, driven by residential revenue rising 1.8 percent and advertising revenue growing 9.9 percent. Altice USA said it lost 25,000 pay TV subscribers during the fourth quarter, against 21,000 lost in the year-ago period. That was offset by the addition of 25,000 residential broadband customers during the latest quarter, compared to 36,000 added in the year-ago period.

“2017 was a transformational year for Altice USA. We continued to have great momentum and delivered strong financial results by growing our customer base, revenues and margins with high free cash flow growth,” Altice USA chairman-CEO Dexter Goei said in a statement.

Altice USA recently ended a contentious carriage dispute with Lionsgate over its Starz channels and struck a new multiyear deal that secures rights for the company to offer the full suite of Starz and Starz Encore premium linear and high-definition channels, on-demand, HD on-demand and online services across the Optimum and Suddenlink cable systems.

Altice Group, the European cable and telecom giant, formed Altice USA after acquiring Cablevision Systems and controlling smaller cable operator Suddenlink, to boost its U.S. operations. Altice USA is set to be spun-off from its parent company, Altice N.V.