Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) advanced in morning trades after the largest U.S. cable provider reported better-than-estimated profit and revenue growth in the first quarter after signing up more Internet customers.
Net income rose to $2.1 billion, or $0.81 per share, in the January-to-March quarter, from $1.87 billion, or $0.71 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, profit was $0.79 per share. This beat analysts' estimates of $0.74 per share, according to Capital IQ data.
Revenue grew 2.6 percent to $17.9 billion, above the Wall Street consensus of $17.4 billion.
The average monthly bill rose 4.7 percent to $140.41.
The number of Comcast's high-speed Internet customers grew by 6.2 percent to 407,000. Revenue from the business was up about 11 percent to $3.04 billion.
But the company lost 8,000 video subscribers, compared with additions of 24,000 a year ago.
In a sign of how Comcast’s business is changing, the number of Internet subscribers -- more than 22 million -- surpassed the number of cable-TV subscribers for the first time after the quarter ended.
Voice subscriber additions slowed to 77,000 from 142,000 additions a year ago.
Business services revenue was up 21.4 percent to $1.11 billion.
Overall, at the company’s cable business, which accounts for the bulk of the top line, revenue grew 6.3 percent to $11.4 billion.
Sales at Comcast’s NBCUniversal group, which includes the NBC broadcast network, cable channels such as USA and MSNBC, and the Universal film studio, declined 4 percent to $6.6 billion, due partly to a decline in ratings.
The results followed recent news that the company had abandoned its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable after intense regulatory scrutiny. Costs related to the deal came to $99 million during the first quarter. That brings the total costs related to the deal to $336 million since the deal was announced in February 2014.
Comcast also said today that it plans to buy back an additional $2.5 billion in stock during 2015, bringing its total 2015 share-buyback plan to $6.75 billion.