Comcast Earnings Buoyed by Growth in Business Services, Internet Customers

Trey Thoelcke

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reported second-quarter results before markets opened Tuesday. The cable operator posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.76 on revenues of $16.84 billion. In the same period a year ago, Comcast reported EPS of $0.65 on $16.27 billion in revenue. Second-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.72 on revenues of $16.95 billion.

Revenue in the Comcast’s cable communications division rose 5.4% year-over-year, led by gains of 22.4% in business services. Video customer losses decreased to 144,000, the best second-quarter result in six years.

NBCUniversal revenue increased only 0.03%, though operating cash flow increased 20.4%. NBC ended the broadcast season ranked number one among adults 18 to 49.

The company’s CEO said:

We continue to see strong momentum across our cable and content businesses. In Cable, we posted the best second quarter customer results for both video and high-speed Internet in six years and saw tremendous demand for our X1 product, which is a truly transformative experience. We are also pleased with the continued rapid growth of business services, which has quickly become an important engine for the company. NBCUniversal had another excellent quarter with double-digit operating cash flow growth driven by solid results in each segment.

Comcast did not offer any guidance in its earnings release, but the consensus estimates call for third-quarter EPS of $0.71 on revenue of $16.93 billion. The current full-year 2014 estimate calls for EPS of $2.92 on revenue of $69.14 billion.

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Comcast also said it paid dividends totaling $585 million and repurchased 15.0 million of its common shares for $750 million in the period. At the end of the quarter, Comcast had approximately $6.0 billion available under its share repurchase authorization.

Shares were up about 2% in premarket trading Tuesday, at $54.99 in a 52-week range of $41.06 to $55.53. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $61.52 before the results were announced.