Time Warner Cable adds fewer Internet users

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Time Warner Cable, the second-largest U.S. cable operator, reported quarterly revenue below analysts' estimates as it added less than half the number of subscribers for high-speed data services that analysts had expected.

Cable operators in the United States are increasingly depending upon internet customers for growth as they continue to lose cable TV subscribers and face rising programming costs.

Time Warner Cable said on Thursday it added 21,000 high-speed internet customers on a net basis in the second quarter. Analysts had expected 55,400, according to StreetAccount.

Time Warner Cable lost about 189,000 video subscribers in the quarter, more than the 174,700 analysts had estimated.

Time Warner Cable said last week that Chief Executive Glenn Britt will step down at the end of the year and be replaced by Robert Marcus, the company's second in command.

The widely expected move comes as Time Warner Cable, which ranks second to Comcast with 12 million customers, has attracted takeover interest from John Malone's Liberty Media.

Malone, whose media holding company has an investment in cable provider Charter Communications, recently made an offer for Time Warner Cable but it was rejected, Reuters previously reported.

Cable operators are also facing stiff competition from video services offered by satellite TV and phone companies was well as internet-based services such as Netflix Inc.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $481 million, or $1.64 per share, for the second quarter from $452 million, or $1.43 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.69 per share.

Revenue rose about 2.7 percent to $5.55 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.64 per share on revenue of $5.58 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Time Warner shares closed at $114.07 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Click here to get the latest pre-market quotes.)

On Wednesday, rival Comcast posted earnings that topped analysts' expectations.

(Read more: Cable, content makers stop fighting: Comcast CEO)