Altice USA reveals $1.8 bn Capex focusing on FTTH

Altice USA said it expects to accelerate investments in key growth initiatives, increasing cash capital expenditures to ~$1.7 billion to $1.8 billion in fiscal 2022.
Altice USA broadbandAltice USA will have FTTH capex to add an incremental 1 million passings in 2022 reaching ~2.5 million FTTH total passings by the end of 2022. There will also be an additional Capex to add an incremental 175k+ new passings in 2022. Capex also includes for 50 to 75 new retail stores in 2022.

Cash capex of $309.2 million in Q3 2021 represented 12 percent of revenue, and was up 53.4 percent driven by accelerated FTTH, new builds, and Suddenlink network upgrades.

Altice USA said revenue grew 5.8 percent in Q3 2021 to $2.57 billion, driven by residential growth of 2.2 percent to $1.97 billion, business services growth of 21.7 percent, and News & Advertising growth of 15.7 percent.

Net income was $266.9 million in Q3 2021 compared to net loss -$4.7 million Q3 2020.

Residential customer base declined 0.4 percent in Q3 2021. Residential customer net losses were 25K in Q3 2021, compared to +8K customer additions in Q3 2020.

Residential broadband losses were 13K in Q3 2021, compared to +26K broadband additions in Q3 2020. Residential Video losses were 67K in Q3 2021, compared to 86K video losses in Q3 2020 and vs. –32K in Q3 2019).

Optimum Mobile has approximately 181K mobile lines as of September 30, 2021 (+1k in net additions in Q3 2021), generating revenue of $20.5 million for the quarter (up +3.7 percent), and reaching 3.9 percent penetration of Altice USA’s Residential customer base.

Broadband-only customer usage averaged 558 GB per month in Q3 2021, which is 26 percent higher than the average usage of the entire customer base (443 GB). The average broadband speed taken by Altice USA’s customer base has nearly doubled in the past three years to 337 Mbps at the end of Q3 2021.

Approximately 50 percent of our broadband customers remain on plans with download speeds of 200 Mbps or less, representing a sizable opportunity to continue to upgrade speeds. 1 Gig sell-in to new customers, where 1 Gig services are available, was 46 percent, up from 29 percent in Q3 2020.

Approximately 13.3 percent of the total customer base currently takes Gigabit speeds, representing a significant growth opportunity for the company.

Altice USA covered approximately 1.26 million passings with FTTH technology available for service. Penetration of FTTH passings grew to 4.7 percent compared to 1.8 percent in Q3 2020. Altice USA has accelerated the pace of its network edge-outs, adding 17k total passings in Q3 2021 and a total of 225k total passings in the last 12 months.

Altice USA upgraded its network to deliver higher speeds in certain Suddenlink markets that do not currently offer up to 1 Gbps download speeds. In FY 2021, the company is on track to upgrade 250-300K passings through RF upgrades and equipment upgrades to enable higher speeds. These markets will get download speeds of up to 400 Mbps or 1 Gbps from up to 150 Mbps.