Comcast Makes the Case for a Strong Q4

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When Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reported its fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday, the company said that it had $0.64 in earnings per share (EPS) and $27.85 billion in revenue. Consensus estimates had called for $0.62 in EPS and $27.55 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, Comcast said it had EPS of $0.49 and revenue of $21.91 billion.

During the most recent quarter, advertising revenue increased 27.7%, primarily reflecting an increase in political advertising revenue. Excluding political advertising revenue, advertising revenue increased 3.1%.

Business services revenue increased 9.5%, primarily driven by increases in the number of customers receiving services. Other revenue increased 19.1%, primarily driven by the timing of X1 licensing revenue. Video revenue decreased 1.6%, primarily reflecting a decrease in the number of residential video customers. Voice revenue decreased 3.0%, primarily due to a decrease in the number of residential voice customers.

Total customer relationships increased by 258,000 to 30.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Residential customer relationships increased by 229,000 and business customer relationships increased by 29,000.

Comcast did not offer any guidance in the report. However, the consensus estimates are $0.64 in EPS and $26.93 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2019.

Brian L. Roberts, board chair and chief executive of Comcast, commented:

Highlighting a few of our accomplishments during the past year, Comcast Cable’s customer relationship growth accelerated, driven by our 13th consecutive year of over 1 million broadband net additions. 2018 Cable EBITDA growth was the highest in seven years, underscoring the financially attractive transition of our business to connectivity. NBCUniversal had a great year, fueled by double-digit growth in our TV businesses, reflecting our terrific broadcasts of big events like the NFL’s Super Bowl LII, the 2018 Olympics, and the FIFA World CupTM, and overall robust demand for our leading sports, news and entertainment content.

Shares of Comcast were last seen up more than 5% at $36.98, in a 52-week range of $30.43 to $44.00. The consensus analyst price target is $44.07.