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Comcast Q3 earnings, revenue boosted by London Olympics

Comcast Q3 earnings, revenue boosted by London Olympics


Telecommunications giant Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Friday said that third-quarter profits and revenues rose, benefiting from the London Olympics and growth in its cable business.

Shares of the company rose 2.67 per cent on the news, trading at $37.32 as at about 9:50 a.m. EDT.

For the quarter that ended September 30, the company said net earnings rose to $2.1 billion, or 78 cents per share, compared to $908 million, or 33 cents per share, in the third quarter 2011. 

Excluding a 20 cent per share gain related to its share of SpectrumCo.’s sale of wireless spectrum licenses and a 12 cent per share gain on the sale of NBCUniversal’s interest in A&E Television Networks, earnings per share increased 39.4 per cent to 46 cents in the third quarter.

Revenue rose 15.4 per cent to $16.5 billion, from $14.3 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share profit of 46 cents, on $16.08 billion in sales for the quarter.

The broadcaster’s cable communications unit posted $9.97 billion in sales, up 6.9 per cent from $9.3 billion in revenue last year. 

The cable and high-speed internet broadcast company attributed the rise to an 8.8 per cent increase in high-speed internet, a rise of 33.6 per cent in its business services unit, an increase of 2.7 per cent in the video unit, and a 23.5-per-cent increase in its advertising unit. 

In the quarter, high-speed internet customers rose to 19 million, up from 17.8 million, a year-earlier. Voice customers totalled 9.7 million, up from 9.1 million.

Revenue at NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast, increased 31.2 per cent to $6.8 billion in the third quarter, compared to $5.2 billion in the year-earlier period, primarily driven by 2012 London Olympics revenue of $1.2 billion in the broadcast television segment, the company said. 

Excluding the Olympics, NBCUniversal revenue increased 8.3 per cent.

Cable networks revenue increased 3.2 per cent to $2.2 billion, reflecting a 5.7-per-cent increase in distribution revenue and flat advertising revenue. 

Revenue in the broadcast television division jumped up 83.8 per cent to $2.8 billion, including $1.2 billion of revenue generated by the Olympics. Excluding the Olympics, Comcast said revenue increased 5.2 per cent.

Its filmed entertainment segment revenue increased 23.6 per cent to $1.4 billion due to higher theatrical revenue from the strong box office performance of Ted and The Bourne Legacy. 

Comcast shelled out $750 million to repurchase 22.9 million shares of its own stock. The company has about $4.25 billion remaining under its share buyback program.


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