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Charter’s Capital Expenditure: What to Expect for 1Q18

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Charter’s capital expenditure

Now we’ll take a look at Charter’s (CHTR) capital expenditures (or capex). The company has been continuously spending in order to improve its network. Wall Street analysts expect Charter’s spending on capital expenditures to reach ~$1.5 billion in 1Q18.

In 4Q17, Charter spent $2.6 billion on capital expenditure, which includes $202.0 million on transition-related expenses. However, the company spent just under $1.9 billion on capital expenditures in 4Q16, which includes $187.0 million on transition-related expenses. This growth in capital expenditure was mainly driven by higher spending on CPE (customer-premise equipment), scalable infrastructure, and support capital. The higher spending on CPE is mainly due to the launch of Spectrum pricing and packaging in the legacy Time Warner Cable and legacy Bright House markets.

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Expected capital expenditures in 2018

Charter hasn’t provided a capital expenditure guidance range for 2018. However, management expects capital expenditure to ramp up in 2018, as the company restarted its all-digital projects in the remaining Bright House and Time Warner Cable markets, which aren’t yet all digital, as well as the deployment of 1 Gbps speeds via DOCSIS 3.1 technology across its footprint.

In comparison, Frontier (FTR) expects capital expenditure to come in at $1.00 billion–$1.15 billion in 2018. Windstream (WIN) is expected to spend about $0.80 billion on capital expenditure in 2018.

Meanwhile, AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ)—the integrated US telecom companies—expect to spend nearly $25.0 billion and $17.8 billion, respectively, in capital expenditure during the period.

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