As a former Marine, I'll point out in passing that it was the 1st Marine Division that made famous the defiant line "Retreat, hell!" during the arduous Korean conflict. It's a slogan that very few companies are using these days as they look forward to their prospects for the December quarter and 2009.

Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), for instance, reported what by most standards was an acceptable quarter. Its net profits came in at $301 million, or $0.31 a share, compared to $248 million, or $0.25 a share, a year ago. Indeed, if you back out $53 million of expenses related to its upcoming separation from Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), the EPS line would have been three pennies higher, easily exceeding the consensus forecast of $0.28.

But in looking ahead to results for the full year, the company trimmed its revenue growth forecast to 8% from 9% and cut its prediction for operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) also to 8%, from the 9% to 11% range. Nevertheless, from an operating perspective in the most recent period, the company managed to achieve its 14th consecutive quarter wherein its revenue-generating-unit growth (an RGU is one subscriber taking one service) exceeded 500,000. In this case there were 522,000 new subs added.

In addition, the company added 214,000 data subscribers and 200,000 new phone customers. The telephone company additions appeared to be somewhat below expectations and may have related to an increasing tendency of customers to rely exclusively on their mobile units amid the current economic pullback. Industry leader Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) noted that trend when it discussed its quarter last week.

Time Warner Cable -- which, like most other cable operators, is facing increased competition from telephone company video providers Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) -- will be spun off as a separate company from multimedia giant Time Warner, probably by the first part of 2009. When that occurs, it'll pay out a one-time $10.9 billion dividend to the shareholders of both companies.

For my money, cable costs constitute an area that economically pressed subscribers can reduce during the current downturn. On that basis, and given the substantial "reverse dowry" facing Time Warner Cable when it it's spun off, my inclination is for Fools to give the company something of a wide berth for now.

About 106 Motley Fool CAPS players have given Time Warner Cable a thumbs-up, thereby adorning the company with three stars out of five. Does that include your vote?

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does, however, welcome your questions or comments. The Fool has a disclosure policy.