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|CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. /MO/ filed this Form 8-K on 10/26/2017|
Third quarter advertising sales revenues of $373 million decreased 11.1% compared to the year-ago quarter, driven by a decrease in political, as well as barter and local advertising revenue.
Operating Costs and Expenses
Third quarter total operating costs and expenses increased by $238 million, or 3.7%, compared to the year-ago period.
Third quarter programming expense increased by $295 million, or 12.3% as compared to the third quarter of 2016, reflecting contractual programming increases, renewals, improving expanded basic video sell-in at Legacy TWC and higher pay-per-view expenses.
Costs to service customers decreased by $73 million or 3.6% year-over-year, as a result of benefits from the combination of the three companies and improved productivity.
Marketing expenses increased by $33 million, or 5.6% year-over-year due to higher sales and the implementation of Charter's selling tactics in the acquired footprints. Other expenses decreased by $16 million, or 2.0% as compared to the third quarter of 2016, driven primarily by Transactions synergies.
Third quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $3.8 billion grew by 5.0% year-over-year reflecting revenue growth and operating expense growth of 4.2% and 3.7%, respectively. Excluding transition costs of $23 million in the third quarter of 2017 and $32 million in the prior year period, Adjusted EBITDA grew by 4.7% year-over-year.
Net Income Attributable to Charter Shareholders
Net income attributable to Charter shareholders totaled $48 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to $189 million in the third quarter of 2016. The year-over-year decrease in net income was primarily driven by higher depreciation and amortization in the third quarter of 2017, higher interest expense and a decrease in gain on financial instruments, partly offset by higher Adjusted EBITDA and lower severance-related and transactions expenses.
Net income per basic common share attributable to Charter shareholders totaled $0.19 in the third quarter of 2017 compared to $0.70 during the same period last year. The decrease was primarily the result of the factors described above, partially offset by a 6.4% decrease in weighted average shares outstanding versus the prior year period.
Property, plant and equipment expenditures totaled $2.4 billion in the third quarter of 2017, compared to $1.7 billion during the third quarter of September 30, 2016. The year-over-year increase in capital expenditures was driven by an increase in CPE spending related to higher customer connect volumes driven by the launch of Spectrum pricing and packaging in Legacy TWC and Legacy Bright House and the related higher set-top box placement rate per Spectrum connect, and CPE related to Charter's all-digital initiative. The increase in scalable infrastructure was related to the timing of in-year spend and planned product improvements for video and Internet. Support capital increased due to the in-year timing of vehicle purchases and capitalized labor associated with software development. Transition capital expenditures accounted for $125 million of capital expenditures in the third quarter of 2017, versus $109 million in the third quarter of 2016. Excluding transition-related expenditures, third quarter 2017 capital expenditures totaled $2.3 billion, compared to $1.6 billion during the same period last year.