Comcast Posts Mixed Quarterly Earnings As Falling Film Revenues Impact NBC Universal’s Numbers

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Comcast posted mixed quarterly financial results – beating earnings estimates but falling short of revenue targets. The company, which is in a bidding war to acquire European pay-TV operator Sky, increased its broadband subscribers by 260,000 with broadcast TV revenue growing 6.7% to $2.2B.

It reached $21.74B in revenue, although below Wall Street forecasts of $21.86B, but hit 65 cents a share in terms of earnings compared with forecasts of 60 cents per share.

Revenue at NBC Universal remained flat at $8.3B in the second quarter of 2018 with adjusted EBITDA increasing 4.2% to $2.2B thanks to increases at its cable networks and theme parks business. However, this was offset by a decline in the film unit, which saw revenue fall 20.2% to $1.7B.

This was attributed to lower theatrical, home entertainment and content licensing revenue, which the company blamed on the timing of this quarter’s releases including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as well as the strength of releases in last year’s second quarter such as Fate of the Furious as well as Fifty Shades Darker and Get Out.

Broadcast TV revenue increased 6.7% to $2.4 billion as a result of increased advertising and distribution revenue, partially offset by lower content licensing revenue. Advertising revenue increased 9.2%, primarily driven by Telemundo’s broadcast of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia,

This comes after the NBC Universal owner said last week that it would focus on its bid for Sky, dropping its pursuit of 21st Century Fox. Its Sky bid now values the Bulletproof broadcaster at £26B, a 5% increase on Fox’s own bid to take over the operator.

Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation, said, “We delivered fantastic results in the second quarter, including robust free cash flow of $4.3 billion. At Cable Communications, we added 182,000 customer relationships, largely driven by our addition of 260,000 broadband customers, which was the highest second quarter result in 10 years. These strong customer metrics were balanced with robust EBITDA growth, fueled by high-speed Internet and business services.

“NBC Universal’s performance was highlighted by continued momentum in affiliate revenue at our cable networks business, and Telemundo presented its first ever FIFA World Cup, which set multiple records for the network. Additionally, we are excited about the new attractions that we opened at each of our theme parks during the quarter, and pleased with the theatrical performance of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Overall, our successful results in the first half of 2018 underscore the strength we see across Comcast NBC Universal.”

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