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Time Warner Cable profit tops Street as subscriber additions rise

A Time Warner Cable truck is viewed in Brooklyn in New York City.
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A Time Warner Cable truck is viewed in Brooklyn in New York City.

Time Warner Cable on Thursday posted a better-than-expected adjusted profit in the third quarter as it added more high-speed data customers.

The company, which is being bought by Charter Communications, added 232,000 high-speed data subscribers in the third quarter compared with 172,000 additions in the second quarter.

Wunderlich Securities analysts were expecting 191,000 subscriber additions.

Time Warner Cable also said it lost 7,000 residential video subscribers in the three months ended Sept. 30, far less than the 45,000 it lost in the second quarter.

Cable companies have been grappling with declining subscriber numbers as viewers shift to cheaper and more flexible streaming services offered by Netflix, Amazon.com, Hulu and others.

Net income attributable to Time Warner Cable shareholders fell to $437 million, or $1.53 per share, from $499 million, or $1.76 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned $1.62 per share, beating analysts average estimate of $1.57 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 3.6 percent to $5.92 billion, slightly short of analysts average estimate of $5.96 billion.

Charter in May said it would buy Time Warner Cable in a cash-and-stock deal that values the larger rival at $78.7 billion, to compete with the Comcast. (Disclosure: Comcast is the parent of NBCUniversal and CNBC.)

The deal is slated to close by the end of the year, but is also subject to a lot of regulatory scrutiny. Regulatory obstacles had earlier sunk Comcast's bid for Time Warner Cable.