Comcast Earnings Boosted by Internet Subscribers, but Video Subs Fall

Source: courtesy of Comcast
Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reported first-quarter 2015 results before markets opened Monday. The media giant posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.81 on revenues of $17.85 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.71 on revenues of $17.41 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.74 and $17.41 billion in revenues. Reported first-quarter EPS includes one-time gains of $0.02.

Of course the big news from Comcast came a couple of weeks ago when the company withdrew its $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable when it became clear that federal regulators were set to oppose the deal.

During the first quarter of 2015, Comcast paid dividends totaling $572 million and repurchased 35.1 million of its common shares for $2 billion. As of March 31, 2015, Comcast had $8 billion available under its share repurchase authorization, and the company now says that it plans to repurchase an additional $2.5 billion during 2015, subject to market conditions, bringing its total 2015 share repurchase plan to $6.75 billion.

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First-quarter revenues from cable customers rose 6.3% to $11.4 billion, with the biggest improvements in video revenues (up 10.7% to $3 billion) and business services revenues (up 21.4% to $1.1 billion).

Comcast lost 8,000 video customers in the quarter to finish with a total of 22.38 million. High-speed Internet customers totaled 22.37 million, up more than 400,000 compared with the same period a year ago. Voice customers rose by 77,000.

Comcast reported 8.4 million one-product customers, 8.9 million two-product customers and 9.9 million three-product customers at the end of the quarter. Total customers numbered 27.2 million, up 199,000 year-over-year.

The company’s NBCUniversal business posted revenues of $6.6 billion in the first quarter, down 4% year-over-year, but up 7.9% if the impact of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Super Bowl are excluded. The Super Bowl accounted for $376 million and the Sochi Olympics accounted for $1.1 billion cable and broadcast revenues of the first quarter 2014 revenues.

Comcast did not offer guidance in its press release, but the consensus analysts’ estimates for the second quarter call for EPS of $0.82 on revenues of $17.94 billion. For the year, analysts expect EPS of $3.24 on revenues of $71.59.

The earnings and revenue beats pushed the share price up in Monday’s premarket. The stock traded at $60.00, up about 2.7% above Friday’s closing price of $58.41. The stock’s 52-week range is $49.16 to $60.85. The consensus price target on the shares is around $67.00.

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