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Liberty Global Q3 Earnings Trump Estimates, Revenues Lag

Liberty Global plcLBTYA reported mixed financial results in the third quarter of 2015 wherein the bottom line steered past the Zacks Consensus Estimate while the top line fell below the same.

Liberty Global reported adjusted earnings per share of 12 cents, outshining the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 4 cents. The earnings upside was primarily driven by strong subscriber growth and robust ARPU.

Liberty Global Inc. (LBTYA) - Earnings Surprise | FindTheCompany

Meanwhile, quarterly total revenue of $4,289 million was up 2.2% year over year but below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,617 million.

Cost of operations totaled $4,051.9 million, up 6.8% year over year. However, operating income came in at $545.5 million, down 22.5% year over year. Operating margin stood at 11.9% compared with 15.6% in the year-ago quarter.

In the third quarter of 2015, Liberty Global generated $1,473.5 million of cash from operations compared with $1,153.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Free cash flow, in the reported quarter, was $770.3 million compared with $309.8 million in the prior-year quarter. At the end of the third quarter of 2015, Liberty Global had $1,111.2 million of cash and cash equivalents and $45,098 million of outstanding debt on its balance sheet compared with $1,158.5 million and $44,608.1 million, respectively, at the end of 2014.

Subscriber Statistics

As of Sep 30, 2015, Liberty Global had 27.4135 million subscribers, which constitute 53.1712 million RGUs. Of the total, 22.7891 million were video RGUs, 16.5727 million were broadband Internet RGUs and the remaining 13.8094 million were telephony RGUs. Moreover, the company had 4.7356 million mobile subscribers with a quarterly addition of 69,800.

The total Single-Play customer count stood at 9.9375 million, up 3% year over year. The total Double-Play subscriber count was 4.2163 million, up 15.7% year over year. The Triple-Play customer base stood at over 11.6004 million, up 19.7% year over year.

During the reported quarter, Liberty Global added a total of 299,500 RGUs, including net gains of 200,700 and 159,100 subscribers for broadband Internet and telephony services, respectively. However, the company lost 60,300 video customers.

Segment-wise Results

Total revenue at the European Operations division was $4,284.9 million, up 2.3% year over year. Within this segment, revenues from Western Europe were $4,018.6 million, up 3.8% year over year. Revenues from Central and Eastern Europe came in at $266.2 million, down 14.7% year over year. Central and other operation revenues grossed $0.1 million compared with $2.5 million in the year-ago quarter. VTR Chile revenues totaled $204.3 million, down 8.7% year over year. Corporate and other revenues totaled $8.3 million, down 56.3% year over year.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Liberty Global currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the sector include Gray Television, Inc. GTN , Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. SBGI and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. SNI . While Gray Television and Sinclair Broadcast Group sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Scripps Networks Interactive carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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LIBERTY GLBL-A (LBTYA): Free Stock Analysis Report

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GRAY TELEVSN (GTN): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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