Comcast earnings beat analysts expectations when the company reported before the bell on Thursday, amid a big pop in film revenue and double digit surges in NBCUniversal and theme parks.
Filmed entertainment revenue grew 59.6 percent during the quarter amid the release of “Fate of the Furious.” Class A shares rose 1.5 percent in pre-market trading.
- EPS: 52 cents a share, versus 48 cents per share expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate
- Revenue: $21.17 billion, versus $20.86 billion expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate
That’s up from earnings of 41 cents per share on revenue of $19.27 billion in the year-ago period.
Comcast added 114,000 customer relationships during the quarter, fewer than the 116,000 added this time last year, as residential video customers fell more this year. The company added 175,000 high-speed internet customers, a bit less than the 220,000 added a year ago.
Still, Comcast grew cable communications revenue by 5.5 percent during the quarter as rate adjustments and high-speed internet customers grew, offsetting a decrease in political advertising revenue after 2016’s U.S. presidential election.
Comcast’s theme parks also saw more visitors during the quarter, as spring break vacations lined up with attractions like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Minion Park in Japan and Volcano Bay in Orlando.
Comcast’s vast array of properties — including NBCUniversal content, cable subscribers, wireless service, theme parks, and Universal Studios films — have faced a changing media landscape over the past few years.
As many as 64 percent of all U.S. households have a subscription video on-demand service from providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, up from 47 percent in 2014, according to one estimate from Leichtman Research Group. Netflix’s latest earnings reflected that jump, with the company adding 5.2 million total memberships, blowing away Wall Street’s estimates of 3.23 million during a historically weak quarter.
AT&T, meanwhile, has proposed a merger with Time Warner while Verizon has acquired Yahoo. Companies like Facebook and Apple are also said to be dabbling in original content.
Nonetheless, Comcast’s box office hit with “The Fate of the Furious” was complemented by a 42.6 percent revenue increase in home entertainment, led by titles like “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Sing.”
Comcast thrived over the past year on the back of live events like the Rio Olympics, posting the best video customer results in a decade in 2016. Comcast’s Class A shares were up about 17 percent over the past year as of Wednesday’s close, better than AT&T, which has seen shares fall more than 10 percent despite posting better-than-expected second quarter earnings this week.
“We launched our fantastic new xFi experience for in-home broadband during the quarter, the latest example of our culture of innovation and continued focus on developing differentiated products and services for our customers,” CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. “Our teams continue to execute incredibly well and I am excited about the opportunities ahead for Comcast NBCUniversal.”
Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.
Source: Tech CNBC
Comcast shares climb after box office hit drives earnings past expectations