Comcast revenue and profit top estimates as Universal theme park sales soar

Comcast topped both revenue and profit estimates in the third quarter, but the largest U.S. internet provider lost high-speed broadband customers and NBCUniversal advertising revenue slumped.

NBCUniversal’s flagship streaming service Peacock added 4 million subscribers and revenue increased 64% to $830 million, stemming the subscription service’s quarterly loss to $565 million. Peacock lost $614 million in the same period a year prior on $506 million in revenue.

Here’s how Comcast performed, compared with estimates from analysts surveyed by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv.
  • Earnings per share: $1.08 adjusted vs. 95 cents estimated
  • Revenue: $30.12 billion vs. $29.68 billion estimated

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Comcast reported net income of $4 billion, or 98 cents per share, compared with a loss of $4.6 billion, or $1.05 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted for one-time items, per-share earnings were $1.08 in the quarter. The prior year’s results were affected by one-time impairment and goodwill charges associated Comcast’s 2018 acquisition of Sky.

Revenue rose 0.9% compared to the prior year period. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 5.1% to $9.96 billion.

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Shares of the company slipped about 2% in premarket trading. Read Comcast’s full earnings release.

Theme parks’ adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 20% to $983 Million — the highest quarterly profit on record for the division — driven by the popularity of Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood, Comcast said.

Comcast lost 18,000 high-speed broadband customers in the quarter and 490,000 video subscribers as Americans continue to drop traditional cable TV for streaming services. Comcast ended the quarter with 14.5 million video subscribers and 29.8 million residential broadband customers.

U.S. broadband revenue rose 3.8% to $6.4 billion even as subscribers fell due to higher rates.

Wireless revenue rose 16% to $917 million in the quarter on a net addition of 294,000 customers. Comcast ended the quarter with 6.3 million wireless customers. Comcast uses Verizon’s network to provide branded Xfinity wireless coverage from an agreement struck in 2016.

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Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” which chronicled the life of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, became the highest grossing biopic of all time at the box office, taking in more than $900 million worldwide. Still, theatrical revenue fell 25% to $504 million as last year’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Jurassic World: Dominion” were bigger hits than NBCUniversal’s overall 2023 summer slate.

NBCUniversal media revenue rose 0.4% to $6 billion as distribution revenue rose while U.S. advertising sales fell 8.4% to $1.9 billion. The media division’s adjusted EBITDA increased 6.5% to $723 million as promotional and marketing expenses dropped.

Comcast generated free cash flow of $4 billion in the quarter and returned $4.7 billion to shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks.

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