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Time Warner Cable growth falls a tad short

Time Warner Cable(TWC) on Thursday reported that revenue and profit growth during the second quarter fell slightly short of Wall Street expectations, though the cable operator said results suggest that subscriptions improved.

So-called residential consumer relationships posted a net decline of 34,000–the best second quarter performance in five years. Triple-play net additions were 42,000, while high-speed data net additions totaled 67,000.

The cable operator and others in the industry are facing challenges as some consumers, often called “cord cutters,” eschew traditional cable package bundles (TV, phone and cable services) and instead look to alternative ways to consume media through the Internet, such as by turning to Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu.

Time Warner Cable could confront those challenges with a big merger, as the company in February agreed to be acquired by larger peer Comcast (CMCSA) in a roughly $48-billion all-stock deal that would combine the cable operators. That deal could close by the end of this year.

Overall, Time Warner Cable reported net income of $499 million, or $1.76 a share, up from $481 million, or $1.64 a share, a year earlier. Excluding merger and restructuring costs, adjusted profit climbed to $1.89 a share from $1.69 during the same period. Revenue increased 3.2% to $5.73 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had projected adjusted profit of $1.90 a share on $5.74 billion in revenue.