Comcast Profits Pulled Down On NBC Costs


Credit: AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac

Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) is still pending before regulators, but the deal has already cost the cable operator $22 million in transaction fees in Q2. That sent profits down, though it didn’t completely account for the decline to $884 million from $967 million in Q209. Meanwhile, the improving ad market sent revenues up higher than expected as the programming segment, which includes the E! channel, G4 and Versus, was up 18 percent to $454 million.

For the core cable segment, revenue grew 5.1 percent to $8.9 billion thanks to double-digit growth in high-speed internet (up 10 percent), Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) digital voice (up 14 percent), Comcast business services (up 54 percent) and advertising revenue (up 23 percent).

Overall, Comcast’s earnings were solid across the board. Revenue from each of its video customers was up 3 percent, which Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett noted was high enough to return Comcast to rising video contribution per subscriber on a monthly basis ($42.51 per sub, up 0.2 percent from a year ago), which is all the more impressive considering rising programming costs. Advertising revenue per user also jumped 25.7 percent per monthly sub, with overall ARPU up 8 percent, again, exceeding expectations.

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