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|CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. /MO/ filed this Form 8-K on 02/04/2016|
For the year ended December 31, 2015, net loss was $271 million, compared to $183 million in 2014. The increase was driven by $506 million of interest expense related to the financing of Charter's pending transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House and previous transactions with Comcast Corporation ("Comcast"), and an increase in loss on extinguishment of debt, offset by an income tax benefit related to a partnership restructuring in the third quarter of 2015 and higher income from operations. Net loss per common share was $2.43 for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $1.70 in 2014. The increase was primarily the result of the factors described above, offset by 3.2% increase in weighted average shares outstanding.
Capital expenditures for the year ended December 31, 2015, totaled $1.840 billion compared to $2.221 billion in 2014. The decrease was the result of the completion of Charter's all-digital initiative in 2014, partially offset by higher transition capital expenditures and product development costs in 2015. Transition-related capital expenditures accounted for $115 million and $27 million of capital expenditures in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Excluding transition-related expenses, 2015 property, plant and equipment expenditures totaled $1.725 billion, consistent with management expectations.
In 2015, net cash flows from operating activities totaled $2.4 billion, and remained unchanged year-over-year, with higher Adjusted EBITDA offset by higher cash interest payments associated with debt issued to finance Charter's pending transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House and previous transactions with Comcast.
Free cash flow for the year ended December 31, 2015 was $547 million, compared to $171 million during the same period last year. The increase was primarily due to lower capital expenditures and higher Adjusted EBITDA, partially offset by higher cash interest payments.
Liquidity & Financing
As of December 31, 2015, total principal amount of debt was approximately $35.9 billion, and Charter held $21.8 billion in proceeds from debt in escrow for Charter's pending transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House, described below. As of December 31, 2015, Charter's credit facilities provided approximately $961 million of additional liquidity.
In May 2015, Charter entered into a merger agreement with Time Warner Cable and CCH I, LLC (“New Charter”), pursuant to which the parties to the agreement will engage in a series of transactions that will result in Charter and Time Warner Cable becoming wholly owned subsidiaries of New Charter (the “TWC Transaction”). After giving effect to the TWC Transaction, New Charter will be the new public company parent that will hold the operations of the combined companies.
In May 2015, in connection with the execution of the merger agreement with Time Warner Cable, Charter's contribution agreement with Advance/Newhouse Partnership was amended pursuant to which Charter would become the owner of the membership interests in Bright House and any other assets primarily related to Bright House.
In July 2015, Charter issued $15.5 billion in aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes comprised of $2.0 billion of 3.579% senior secured notes due 2020, $3.0 billion of 4.464% senior secured notes due 2022, $4.5 billion of 4.908% senior secured notes due 2025, $2.0 billion of 6.384% senior secured notes due 2035, $3.5 billion of 6.484% senior secured notes due 2045 and $500 million of 6.834% senior notes due 2055. The net proceeds were deposited into an escrow account and will be used to partially finance the TWC Transaction as well as for general corporate purposes.