Comcast Profit for the Quarter Beats Estimates

Comcast Corp. posted profit for the quarter that beat expectations on Wall Street on Thursday. The No. 1 cable operator in the U.S. said it had added home security and broadband customers even though video subscribers dropped.

Comcast has faced much pressure of late in its video segment, as more subscribers cancel cable packages, in favor sometimes for less expensive streaming options such as Netflix.

AT&T as well as Verizon Communications have reported losses of video subscribers for their third quarter.

Comcast’s attributable net income was higher by 18.5% to end the quarter at $2.65 billion equal to 55 cents per share. Excluding certain items, the company posted per share earnings of 52 cents.

Revenue was down 1.6% ending the quarter at $20.98 billion compared to the same period one year ago, which included the impact of the 2016 Olympics.

Wall Street analysts expected 50 cents a share in earnings with revenue of $21.05 billion.

Comcast video subscriber losses for the quarter were 125,000. The company said during September that it might lose as many as 150,000 of its subscribers because of the impact from hurricanes and an increase in competitive activity within the pay-TV industry.

Additional options are now in the market that allow the consumer to stream television on internet at lower prices than paying for a package deal on cable.

Those alternatives include Sling from Dish Network, PlayStation Vue from Sony, and DirecTV Now offered by AT&T.

However, Comcast maintains it is very well-positioned for the ongoing changes in the viewing habits of consumers due to having a high-speed internet service that added more than 214,000 net subscribers.

The company expanded as well into automation and home security which has added over 51,000 subscribers during the quarter.

Overall, the company’s revenue for its cable business increased by 5.1% and its revenues from NBC Universal were up 6%, excluding any impact from the Olympic Games.

CEO Brian Roberts said the quarter represented the company’s 63rd consecutive quarter of growth in cash flow. He emphasized the NBC Universal and Universal Studios performances during 2017, saying the two businesses were humming right along.

He said the past three quarters have been the best at NBC Universal since Comcast bought it. He added that Universal might have its best year for cash flow in its more than 100 year history.

He added that NBC enjoyed its biggest lead of on any other broadcaster in several years, with the gap between first and second the widest it the last six years.