QUARTERLY REPORT

Comcast Posts Higher 2Q Profit

The cable MSO and owner of NBC today reported that its net income of $1.02 billion, or 37 cents per share, for the April to June period, up 16% from $884 million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago. Its broadcast TV segment revenue rose 18.5%, boosted by its acquisition of the NBC and Telemundo networks and stations.

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast Corp., the country’s largest cable TV company, is bucking the trend among cable companies by making more money from its TV subscribers.

While others are seeing declining revenue from the provision of TV signals, Comcast is still eking out some growth. That, along with the sale of still-growing broadband services and strong results from the newly acquired NBC Universal operations, let the company beat expectations with its second-quarter results.

The Philadelphia-based company reported Wednesday that its net income of $1.02 billion, or 37 cents per share, for the April to June period, up 16 percent from $884 million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding a tax adjustment and costs related to the NBC deal, which closed in January, earnings came to 42 cents per share, beating the 41 cents average expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 51 percent to $14.3 billion. Analysts were expecting $13.7 billion. Revenue from last year’s quarter didn’t include NBC Universal.

Comcast shares rose 27 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $23 in premarket trading after the release of the results. The shares fell 4.7 percent Tuesday.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Cable companies have been losing subscribers to satellite TV services for years, and more recently, to phone-company TV services. They’ve kept their revenue growing by raising prices every year and adding new services like digital video recorders.

For Time Warner Cable Inc., the second-largest cable company, that pathway to growth appeared to end in the second quarter, as it reported a 1.3 percent year-over-year drop in revenue from TV services compared to last year. At Charter Communications Inc., the fourth-largest cable company, the drop was 3 percent.

Comcast reported a 1.3 percent increase in video revenue in the second quarter, as it earned more money per customer and customer flight slowed slightly versus last year. It still lost 238,000 TV subscribers, slightly more than analysts had expected.

Providing TV signals still accounts for more than a third of Comcast’s overall revenue, though broadband and phone services make up a growing share of the pie.

Comcast bought a majority stake in NBC Universal, parent of the Universal Pictures studio and the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks in January. The division did well in the quarter, helped by the success of “Bridesmaids” and “Fast Five” in theaters. Advertising revenues also grew.

For the second quarter of 2011, revenue from the broadcast television segment increased 18.5% to $1.7 billion compared to $1.4 billion in the second quarter of 2010, reflecting higher advertising revenue from improved pricing and ratings at the NBC broadcast network, as well as higher content licensing revenue that includes the immediate recognition of revenue related to prior season and library content under a new licensing agreement.

Second quarter operating cash flow increased 8.8% to $190 million compared to $175 million in the second quarter of 2010, primarily reflecting higher revenue, partially offset by continuing investment in network programming and higher news coverage costs. In addition, operating cash flow includes acquisition-related accounting revisions totaling $56 million. Excluding these accounting revisions, broadcast television operating cash flow increased 40.8% to $246 million.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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