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Adelphia quarterly loss expands

Adelphia Communications Corp. posted a widened second-quarter loss Monday as the U.S. cable operator continued to rack up expenses related to upgrading its networks for digital television and high-speed Internet service. Adelphia said its loss widened to $85.3 million, or 66 cents a share, from $47.3 million, or 81 cents a share, a year earlier. Cable-related capital expenditures for the quarter totaled $237.9 million, up from a year-earlier $53 million. Sales at the Coudersport, Pa.-based company jumped to $704.1 million from $218.8 million a year earlier. On a pro forma basis, Adelphia said its basic cable subscriber count grew 1.4% to 5.1 million during the 12 months ending June 30, while digital subscribers grew 160% to 131,629 and high-speed data subscribers jumped 186% to 74,657. The pro forma numbers assume that all recent acquisitions and divestitures occurred Jan. 1, 1999. Converter shortages resulted in the addition of fewer digital customers than anticipated during the second quarter, chief financial officer Timothy Rigas said. He added, however, that the shortage of converters "has been resolved" and the company is on track to meet its previously stated goal of having 800,000 digital cable customers by the end of the year.

Cumulus second quarter clouded by restructuring

Cumulus Media Inc. reported a sharply widened second-quarter loss Monday, falling short of analyst estimates, as the third-largest U.S. radio station owner and operator retooled its business plan and was smacked with a $9.3 million restructuring charge. This was the company's first earnings report since PricewaterhouseCoopers Llp. resigned as its auditor in April after Cumulus admitted to inflating revenue and earnings numbers during the first three quarters of 1999. The Milwaukee-based radio station owner reported a loss of $14.2 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with a loss of $2.2 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected a loss of about 20 cents a share. Revenue at Cumulus' 212 stations fell 3.4% to $43.6 million from $45.1 million. Same-station broadcast cash flow sank 25.7% to $10.1 million from $13.6 million. Cumulus shares fell 4% on Monday to 9-1/16.

Gemstar earnings increase twofold

Gemstar International Group, the interactive TV technology company that recently acquired TV Guide, saw its quarterly earnings double Monday as sales of its program guides increased. Net income for the three months to June 30 was $28.9 million, or 12 cents a share, up from $14.4 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier. The company beat analysts' average per-share estimate by 2 cents. Revenue for the quarter jumped 40% to $63.2 million from $45.1 million. Gemstar, which changed its name to Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. when the TV Guide deal closed in July, didn't count the merger in its latest results. Gemstar attributed the quarterly gains to licensing income derived from its intellectual property and proprietary technologies, which include VCR Plus+ software and interactive program guides.

Vivendi powers up energy sale

Vivendi SA, in a continued effort to reduce debt in conjunction with its $30 billion purchase of Seagram Co. and Canal Plus SA, said Monday that it has agreed to sell 49.9% of its North American power plant unit to Peco Energy Co. for about $680 million. Vivendi agreed to sell its Sithe Energies Inc. unit to Peco, the owner of Philadelphia's electric utility, which has the option to purchase Vivendi's remaining 50.1% stake in Sithe within five years. The French conglomerate said the move will help it cut its debt burden by about 4 billion euros ($3.6 billion). Vivendi, which sold shares in its Vivendi Environmental unit to the public this year, had debt of 22.8 billion euros ($20.6 billiion) at the end of last year. )Staff and wire reports)


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