NBC Universal was something of a laggard in the third quarter compared to the rest of its parent company General Electric. NBCU, which even the FCC knows Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is trying to acquire, earned $4.1 billion in the quarter, a number that is virtually unchanged from a year ago and saw operating income fall 15 percent to $625 million even as revenue increased 9 percent.
Perhaps most telling of all the results was this comment from 24/7 Wall Street's Douglas McIntyre: "Results from NBCU showed why GE is so anxious to sell a majority of the firm to Comcast." The question for many, of course, is why Comcast is so anxious to buy-especially in light of the opposition the MSO has received from competitors, regulators, elected officials and even some friends.
A year ago, just about when Comcast started to make plans for the acquisition, NBCU was riding high thanks to a deal it struck with Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Hearst. Because of that deal, this year's results look a little worse than they actually were.
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