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Charter's loss widens to $1.5 billion in fourth quarter

Staff Report • Mar 20, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The Star-Tribune is reporting that Charter Communications Inc.'s fourth-quarter net loss widened on $1.5 billion in write-downs as the debt-laden cable operator said it wouldn't make its scheduled interest payment due Monday.Charter, controlled by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, plans to file a prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy by April 1. Charter has been skirting insolvency for years, but this time it faces a combination of tight credit and billions of dollars of debt coming dueCharter had about $21.7 billion in total debt as of Dec. 31.Charter posted a net loss of $1.5 billion, or $3.96 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $468 million, or $1.27 a share. The latest results included the write-downs, while the prior year's included $178 million in write-downs. The company had said last month in preliminary results that it expected about $1.5 billion in write-downs for the period.

Charter is the nation's fourth largest cable provider.

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