Comcast shares fall despite earnings beat


Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast Corp.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Comcast on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings that exceeded estimates for the top and bottom lines.

Shares of Comcast were up as much as 2.1% in pre-market trading.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Earnings per share: 79 cents vs. 76 cents per share expected, per Refinitiv estimates
  • Revenue: $28.398 billion vs. $28.169 billion expected, per Refinitiv
  • High-speed internet customers: 442,000 net adds vs. 378,000 net adds expected, per FactSet estimates

Comcast’s big beat on high-speed internet adds makes for the company’s best fourth quarter in five years, the company said.

The company reported a net drop in video customers of 149,000 for the fourth quarter, which was higher than the expected loss of 139,000 and worse than what it reported in the year-ago fourth quarter, when it reported a net loss of 29,000 video customers.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal segment, which includes broadcast and cable channels, as well as theme parks and studios, saw its revenue slide 2.6% to $9.2 billion during the quarter.

Theatrical revenue for NBCUniversal slumped 21% from a year earlier. The company blamed the decline on lower theatrical revenue and the disappointing performance of “Cats,” which had a dismal debut at the box office in December. Comcast also cited the strength of film releases in the prior year’s fourth quarter, including “The Grinch” and “Halloween.”

Revenues in Comcast’s Cable division came in at $14.8 billion, which surpassed analysts’ expectations of $14.75 billion. Broadcast revenues grew 2.1% to $3.2 billion during the quarter.

Here’s how Comcast’s other divisions did for the quarter:

  • Cable networks accounted for $2.9 billion in total revenue
  • Broadcast television brought in $3.2 billion in total revenue
  • Filmed entertainment brought in $1.6 billion in total revenue
  • Theme Parks brought in $1.6 billion in total revenue

The company said Sky, the British broadcaster it acquired last September, saw its customer relationships increase by 77,000 during the quarter to 24 million.

The quarterly report comes one week after Comcast’s NBCUniversal unveiled its new streaming service, “Peacock.” The service launches in the U.S. on July 15 with a free version and two paid tiers. Peacock will compete with streaming products from the likes of Netflix, Disney+, AT&T‘s HBO Max, Apple TV+, Hulu and others.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Disclosure: Peacock is the streaming service of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC. Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal.

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