Time Warner Cable Inc posted a 22 percent rise in quarterly profit as it added more Internet customers and raised its dividend 20 percent.
The No. 2 U.S. cable television operator's profit growth and increasing return of cash to shareholders was offset with its continuing loss of TV customers during the quarter.
Fourth-quarter net profit rose to $392 million, or $1.09 a share, compared with $322 million, or 91 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $4.80 billion.
Free cash flow rose 58 percent in the quarter to $ million.
The increasing amount of cash generated by the business and its stable capital spending allowed Time Warner Cable to increase its quarterly dividend 20 percent to 48 cents, or $1.92 a year.
Time Warner Cable added 94,000 residential and commercial Internet customers and 72,000 phone customers in the quarter. Analysts at Kaufman Bros had forecast it would add 100,000 new Internet subscribers and 35,000 phone customers.
But the New York-based company lost 141,000 basic video subscribers. Kaufman had forecast losses of 122,000 basic video customers.
Time Warner Cable's shares have risen nearly 60 percent in the last 12 months as investors have been cheered by the company's focus on cable distribution rather than diversifying to own media businesses like Comcast Corp's acquisition of NBC Universal. Investors have also welcomed the cable company's larger-than-expected share buy-back announced late last year.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)