Telecommunications:

Financial Information on 16 Telephone and Cable Companies

RCED/AIMD-94-221FS: Published: Jul 8, 1994. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided financial information on 16 telephone and cable television companies, focusing on: (1) total operating revenues; (2) cash flow from operations; and (3) profitability.

GAO found that: (1) four companies have significant operating revenues from sources other than their main line of business; (2) the companies' cash flows ranged from $30 million to $7.1 billion; (3) all of the companies except the cable television companies were profitable in each of the 5 years reviewed; (4) a number of companies took restructuring charges, which lowered their profitability; (5) the cable television companies showed losses for 2 of the 5 years, primarily due to interest expenses, large depreciation charges, and the amortization of acquisition costs or franchise fees; (6) the cable companies have lower bond ratings than the other companies; (7) the Federal Communications Commission's calculation of rate of return has triggered refunds to customers by the long-distance and local telephone carriers in some years; (8) the portion of the telephone companies' operating revenues from their unregulated services has grown significantly from 1989 to 1993; and (9) the companies' uses of their cash flows has not changed significantly over the 5-year period.

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