Comcast revenue tops estimates amid cord-cutting, muted broadband growth
Comcast Corp’s fourth-quarter revenue beat Wall Street expectations on Thursday, as the media company saw continued demand at its theme parks and experienced modest gains in broadband subscribers outside of regions hit by Hurricane Ian.
Total revenue rose 0.7% to $30.55 billion in the quarter. That beat analysts’ estimates of $30.32 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
A broader recovery in outdoor entertainment, coupled with an uptick in ad spending on its networks during the soccer World Cup and U.S. elections in November, helped boost the company’s revenue.
Cable revenue grew 1.4% to $16.64 billion, narrowly missing analysts’ estimates of $16.67 billion.
Comcast lost 440,000 video subscribers in the quarter, fewer than Factset’s estimated loss of 548,000, as the trend of cable TV cord-cutting continued.
The company also lost 26,000 broadband customers in the quarter, compared with Factset’s estimated loss of 40,000 customers.
Excluding the areas affected by Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida in late September, the company reported a net gain of 4,000 broadband customers.
Competition from wireless carriers such as T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), which offer 5G home-internet service that users can choose instead of broadband connections, has posed a threat to cable operators like Comcast.
The company has also attributed broadband subscriber declines to fewer people moving homes since a surge of movement at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Revenue at Comcast’s NBCUniversal media unit rose 2.6%. The company reported 20 million paid subscribers to its Peacock streaming service, up from the 15 million in October.
NBCU advertising sales grew 4% to $2.86 billion, and theme parks revenue grew 12% to $2.11 billion.
Net income fell 1.1% to $3.02 billion in the fourth quarter.
Excluding items, the company earned 82 cents per share. Reuters