Comcast Beats Wall Street Q3 Estimates, With Cable Gains Offsetting NBCU Dip


Comcast reported strong overall results for the third quarter, with earnings per share of 79 cents and total revenue of $26.83 billion, as cable results overcame softness at NBCUniversal.

The consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts was for earnings per share of 74 cents and revenue of $26.77 billion.

The Cable Communications unit drove most of the gains, with revenue up 4% to $14.6 billion on gains in high-speed internet, business services and wireless. Broadband has increasingly been a key part of investors’ thesis about Comcast as traditional pay-TV subscriber levels decline. In the quarter, 379,000 broadband subscribers were added. Video subscriber losses of 238,000, meanwhile, more than doubled the mark of 106,000 in the year-earlier period.

Revenue at NBCUniversal dropped 3.5% to $8.3 billion. Broadcast TV was especially hard-hit, with revenue decreasing 9.1% to $2.2 billion, with World Cup broadcasts on Telemundo setting a high bar in the third quarter of 2018.

Comparisons were tough at the film studio, which saw revenue slide 6.2% to $1.7 billion. Home entertainment revenue dropped 28.5% due to a slate that included The Secret Life of Pets 2, compared with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in the 2018 quarter. Theatrical revenue slipped 8.8%, reflecting the volume and strength of releases in last year’s third quarter, including Fallen Kingdom and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

“Cable had its highest third quarter broadband net additions in 10 years, which drove its best quarterly net additions in total customer relationships on record,” CEO Brian Roberts said. “Together, with our leading scale in high-value customer relationships and premium content, we are strategically positioned to thrive in our evolving global industry.”

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