Comcast today said some 275,000 basic video subscribers had cancelled their service in the third quarter, a 3.5 percent drop that brings the MSO's subscriber losses for the year to more than 622,000. The cable company, the nation's largest, also said its third quarter profit dropped 8.2 percent.
CEO Brian Roberts, in the company's earnings call, said the Philadelphia-based company expects to close its deal to purchase NBC Universal from General Electric by the end of the year, as regulatory reviews "are on track."
"I believe we are in a strong position to deliver a great entertainment experience to consumers and to really drive new value creation for our shareholders," Roberts said. The deal is worth about $13.8 billion and cost Comcast some $21 million in operating expense in Q3 in addition to another $45 million in interest and other expenses.
Comcast reported net income of $867 million (31 cents EPS), down from $944 million (33 cents EPS) a year ago, on sales of $9.5 billion, a 7.3 percent increase from a year ago, boosted by increases in advertising dollars and increase revenue from video customers. The company said ARPU from video customers was $129.75, an increase of 10.4 percent.
Comcast, meanwhile, reported a 6.5 percent gain in Internet customers. The company has said that segment is a "new core business."
"Our results mark the third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth in revenue and operating cash flow, driven by overall customer growth, a robust advertising market and continued strength in Business Services," said Roberts. "As we near completion of our All-Digital and DOCSIS 3.0 deployments, we are increasing the pace of innovation and new product introductions to our customers. We believe this focus on consistently improving the customer experience and on driving profitable growth will further strengthen our competitive position and build long-term value for our shareholders."
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