Comcast profit drops on year-ago asset sales; results top estimates

Comcast Corp. said Wednesday that its third-quarter profit dropped 18% from a prior year that included $862 million in gains from asset sales, but topped most analysts’ estimates as cable revenue rose 5.2% on continued growth in video, broadband and telephone subscriptions.

The No. 1 cable operator said it earned $1.73 billion, or 65 cents a share, on $16.15 billion in revenue, compared with a profit of $2.11 billion, or 78 cents a share, on $16.54 billion in revenue during the third quarter of 2012. Excluding the special items, Comcast would have earned 46 cents a share in the year-ago period.

According to a poll of analysts taken by Thomson Reuters, Comcast was expected to report net income of 61 cents a share on revenue of $16.25 billion.

Basic video customers fell by 129,000 customers, compared with a loss of 117,000 subscribers in the year-ago period. Broadband customers rose by 297,000, up from net additions of 287,000 a year earlier, and voice customers increased by 169,000, a 38% increase over the prior year. The biggest revenue gain came from broadband, an 8% increase to $2.59 billion.

NBCUniversal revenue slid 14% compared with a year-ago period bolsted by telecast of the Summer Olympic games. At the company’s cable networks, including USA, Bravo, Syfy and Cloo, revenue rose 5.5%.

Theme parks revenue rose 8%.

 

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