Comcast Earnings Mixed on Sharp Drop in Broadcast Revenues

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Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reported first-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The cable operator posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.54 on revenues of $15.31 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.45 on revenues of $14.88 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.50 and $15.41 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, Comcast’s EPS totaled $0.51, excluding one-time $0.03 per share gain on the sale of wireless spectrum licenses.

Comcast did not offer any guidance information, but the consensus estimates call for second-quarter EPS of $0.62 on revenue of $15.99 billion. The current full-year estimate calls for EPS of $2.38 on revenue of $68.04 billion.

The company’s CEO noted:

Cable’s results highlight revenue growth in every product, led by Video and High-Speed Internet, and overall customer growth, as we continue to effectively balance financial and customer performance. NBCUniversal’s businesses also generated strong first quarter performance, led by Film and Cable Networks.

Total revenue from NBCUniversal was down 2.4% year-over-year to $5.34 billion. Most of the decline was due to an 18.5% drop in the broadcast television segment. Revenue at the company’s theme parks rose 12.2% year-over-year.

Comcast lost 60,000 cable subscribers in the quarter, but added 433,000 high-speed Internet subscribers. Both numbers are slightly worse than subscriber turnover in the same period a year ago.

Average monthly revenue per video customer rose 8.1% to $155.05 in the quarter. Comcast claims nearly 22 million video customers, down from 22.3 million in the same period a year ago, and nearly 20 million high-speed Internet customers, up from 18.6 million a year ago.

Comcast’s shares are up 1.7% in premarket trading, at $42.01, in a 52-week range of $28.09 to $42.61. The consensus target price for the shares was around $46.75 before today’s report.