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Time Warner Cable misses 3Q expectations

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Time Warner Cable Inc. toppled from levels close to multi-year highs Monday after its report for the latest quarter failed to meet analyst expectations.

The country's second-largest cable company said net income was $808 million, or $2.60 a share, in the July to September period, up from $356 million, or $1.08 cents per share, a year earlier.

Most of the third-quarter profit gain was due to one-time items, like the sale of stakes in a spectrum-holding company and Clearwire Corp. Excluding these items, Time Warner Cable earned $1.41 per share. That was up 27 percent from a year ago but a penny below the average estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $5.36 billion from $4.91 billion. That was slightly below expectations of $5.39 billion.

Excluding the acquisitions of a series of smaller cable companies in the last year, revenue would have risen about 3 percent, chiefly because of increasing revenue from broadband. Time Warner Cable has recruited new broadband subscribers, and existing ones have traded up to plans with faster speeds.

But the company lost a net 140,000 cable TV customers in the quarter. Cable TV subscriptions have been declining across the industry for years, as viewers shift to satellite and phone-company TV services.

Analyst Christopher King at Stifel Nicolaus said it appeared that the main reason behind weak pay-TV revenues was that people used video-on-demand less while the Olympics were being aired, a temporary problem. He kept his "Buy" rating on the shares and raised his price target from $92 to $95.

The stock of the country's second-largest cable company fell $6.38, or 6.5 percent, to $91.79 in afternoon trading. Two weeks ago, the shares hit $100.50, the highest level since the split from parent company Time Warner Inc. was finalized in 2009.