Thursday, October 26, 2017

Comcast Reports Loss Of Subs, Beats Earnings Expectations

Comcast delivered third-quarter quarter earnings that topped Wall Street expectations even as the cable arm posted a loss of 134,000 residential video subscribers and NBCUniversal faced tough year-over-year comps due to the 2016 summer Olympics.

Variety reports Comcast reported earnings of 55 cents per share, up 19.6% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts had been expecting around 49 cents per share. Total revenue dropped 1.6% to $20.98 billion while adjusted earnings were up 5% to $7.18 billion.

Despite the high hurdle from year-over-year comparisons, Comcast cited strong performances from the theme park wing, the theatrical release of “Despicable Me III” and content licensing gains across film and TV for powering NBCUniversal’s quarter.

Brian Roberts
On the cable side, a net gain of 214,000 high-speed Internet customers helped drive a 5.1% gain in revenue to $13.2 billion. But the residential video loss of 134,000 continues the trend of MVPD losses this quarter — a swing from this time last year when Comcast and other large providers posted modest gains in video subs.

CEO Brian Roberts told  CNBC's Squawk Box after the report that this was the 63rd consecutive quarter of cash flow growth for Comcast.

"The cash flow of the company – which is, I think, the main metric that we judge ourselves – was up 5 percent across the company for the first nine months," Roberts said. "Now a majority of that cash flow comes out of the broadband business."

Strauss said the third quarter was the most competitive in recent history, adding that Hurricane Harvey was also to blame for the losses. That means a deepening of losses from the previous quarter, bringing Comcast's total video customers to 22.4 million.

The company, which owns NBCUniversal, announced several "smart-home" offerings in August amid a push to diversify beyond its cable options. The company wants to offer more services in the home to increase revenues and create more loyal customers.

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