Comcast Beats Earnings Expectations, Wins Record Internet Customers for Quarter

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Comcast Thursday reported second-quarter results that beat analysts’ expectations, both at the top and bottom. The company also posted a record new broadband subscriber base for the quarter.

Shares closed slightly.

Here’s what Comcast reported compared to Wall Street’s expectations:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: 84 cents vs. 67 cents expected in a Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Gain: $28.55 billion vs. $27.18 billion in the Refinitiv survey
  • Customers with fast internet: 354,000 net additions vs. 270,000 net additions expected in a StreetAccount survey

Comcast said net gains for high-speed Internet customers were the highest ever for a second-quarter performance. The company also had its best second quarter for total customer relationships, with an additional 294,000.

“It was a great quarter,” CEO Brian Roberts said on CNBC’s “TechCheck.” He noted that broadband was the “star” business segment in the second quarter.

The company said NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, has 54 million signups this week and more than 20 million monthly active accounts. Comcast, which makes no distinction between free and paid users, reported 42 million signups in the US in the first quarter of this year.

NBC chief Jeff Shell said in a conversation with investors that the direct-to-consumer service is still in the early stages of its content rollout. He believes Peacock can achieve sufficient scale without changing course, which would likely make mergers and acquisitions unnecessary.

“What we think we can do is look for ways to grow organically, what we’ve done this quarter, we’ve done all year, and also if there are any partnerships that can accelerate streaming, especially internationally,” said Roberts. to CNBC.

Comcast’s cable revenue was $16 billion, up 10.9% from a year ago. NBCUniversal also saw revenue for the quarter increase 39.2% from a year ago to $8 billion.

NBCUniversal’s entertainment segments were hampered by the pandemic, which curtailed movie theater operations and some theme parks. But a partial resumption had a positive effect on revenues.

Studios’ sales showed signs of recovery, with sales reaching $2.2 billion. That is 8.4% more than last year. Comcast said its studio production operations have returned to pre-pandemic levels. It was also boosted in the quarter with the “Fast 9” movie premiere, which has grossed $600 million at the box office worldwide to date.

Theme park revenue came in at $1.1 billion, just over a year ago when parks were largely closed due to the pandemic. Locations in Singapore, Japan, California and Florida have reopened with some capacity, with a new park opening in Beijing later this year.

“We remain incredibly optimistic about our theme parks,” Roberts said earlier this morning during the company’s earnings call.

Sales of the Europe-based Sky division increased by 14.9%, but customer relationships fell by 248,000 to 23.2 million. The company attributed the decline to cancellations after the end of the football season.

Here’s how Comcast’s divisions fared this quarter compared to a year earlier:

  • Cable communications accounted for $16 billion, up 10.9%
  • Media brought in $5.1 billion, up 25.7%
  • Theme parks were worth $1.1 billion and won $958 million
  • Studios reported $2.2 billion, up 8.4%

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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