Comcast revenue soars 51%, even as it loses 238,000 pay-TV subscribers

In its first full quarter as owner of NBCUniversal, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) today reported strong second quarter results, including revenue of $14.3 billion, an increase of 51 percent from a year ago, easily topping Wall Street estimates. The company also reported net income of $1.02 billion, or 37 cents per share, up from $844 million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago.

It was the third consecutive quarter of income growth.

"We generated strong operating and financial results in the second quarter across our cable and content businesses," said Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. "In cable we saw continued improvement in customer metrics, real strength in our high-speed Internet service and strong momentum in business services. I am also pleased with the performance of NBCUniversal, which posted double-digit revenue growth in each of its segments. We are confident that the strategic investments we continue to make at NBCUniversal and Comcast Cable are strengthening our businesses, driving profitable growth and building value for our shareholders."

The picture for subscribers was far less rosy, as the cable company, which has 23 million subscribers, said it lost nearly a quarter-million basic video customers, about 238,000 in all. Last year, in the second quarter, it lost 265,000 pay-TV subscribers. Those losses are part of a cable trend that has seen the industry's subscriber base erode as other options, like Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV, AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse TV and over-the-top options like Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Hulu, and several others have taken a toll.

Comcast, like several other cable companies, saw strong growth in its high-speed Internet subscriptions, adding 144,000 users; it also added 193,000 phone customers, and 99,000 triple-play customers who took phone, Internet and video.

Despite the sub loss on the video side, Comcast saw video revenues increase about 10 percent, much of it due to an increase in ARPU to $137.51.

NBCUniversal, like CBS yesterday, reported that deals to license content to companies like Netflix, helped its revenues increase 17 percent over a year ago.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Wall Street Cheat Sheet article

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