Charter Communications strengthened this week after the company announced that it was pursuing a plan to streamline its operations. The bank debt had been trading in the 84 1/2 85 1/2 range, but firmed up to the 85 3/4 87 3/4 range. "The news was that they were going to consolidate and cut costs," said one trader, noting cash flow would likely improve. "I wouldn't be surprised to see it hit the 90s before the end of the year," noted another market player.
Charter officials gave a presentation at Credit Suisse First Boston's Media Week Conference last Tuesday. In the presentation, the company outlined goals for 2003 that include a focus on high margin, low churn products and free cash flow. In addition, the company is looking to reduce capital expenditure and debt. Calls to the company were not returned by press time.
The operational changes include the reorganization of the company's business into five divisions, grouped by geographical location. The streamlining process will also include a number of layoffs. In a written statement, Charter CEO Carl Vogel said the changes would "eliminate management layers and reduce redundancy."