Komcast reported third-quarter results on Thursday that beat analysts’ estimates, despite revenue slipping slightly and broadband subscriber growth remaining weak.
Shares of the company rose more than 7% on Thursday morning.
Here’s how Comcast performed in the third quarter of 2022 versus Wall Street expectations, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:
- earnings per share: 96 cents adjusted vs. 90 cents expected
- revenue: $29.85 billion versus $29.65 billion expected
The company said it added 14,000 broadband subscribers during the quarter — an improvement from the second quarter, when Comcast didn’t add any new subscribers at all for the first time. Still, it’s a sign that cable broadband providers are facing increasing competition from telecom and wireless Internet companies.
The slowdown in new subscribers is hitting the cornerstone of Comcast’s business, much like its peers Charter Communication and AlticeUSA. AT&T said last week expanding its fiber network remains a priority for the company, adding 338,000 new customers during the quarter.
“It’s still a challenging environment,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said at an investor call Thursday, noting that fewer people are moving to new homes in the United States and competition from new entrants is increasing.
Comcast’s revenue fell 1.5% from the year-ago quarter to $29.85 billion, as the company’s NBCUniversal unit brought in more advertising revenue by broadcasting the Tokyo Olympics on its television networks. The company also took an $8.6 billion write-down on its Sky business in the UK due to the macroeconomic challenges affecting Europe as the war in Ukraine rages on.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 5.9% from the year-ago period to $9.5 billion.
Meanwhile, Comcast’s cable division, which includes pay-TV, wireless and traditional phone services in addition to broadband, saw revenue climb 2.6% to $16.5 billion. The company said broadband revenue rose 5.7%, driven by an increase in average tariffs and the number of its residential broadband subscribers.
Its Xfinity Mobile business, which launched five years ago and which it relies on Verizon‘s wireless network now has 5 million customer lines.
Comcast lost 561,000 pay-TV customers, a sustained quarterly decline that the company and its competitors have seen in recent years due to the rise of streaming services.
Peacock, the company’s fledgling streaming service, has surpassed 15 million paying customers, up 70% year-to-date, the company said on Thursday.
Revenue for the NBCUniversal division declined about 4% to $9.6 billion compared to the same quarter last year, when the Tokyo Olympics were being held, and added $1.8 billion in revenue to the media segment. NBCUniversal’s media segment includes its broadcast and cable television networks and streaming.
On Thursday, Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh said the company expects its media business, with the exception of Peacock, to be hit by cable cuts and some deterioration in the advertising market due to economic uncertainty.
Due to the absence of the Olympic Games, the media segment’s revenue fell by around 23% to US$5.23 billion. Without the Olympic Games it would have been an increase of 4.4%. Ad revenue for the segment fell 35% for the same reason, although the company said that was partially offset by an increase in Peacock’s ad revenue.
NBCUniversal’s motion picture studio revenue increased 31.4% to $3.2 billion, driven by higher theatrical and content licensing revenue. The company said that theatrical revenues in particular nearly doubled to $673 million, largely due to the releases of Jurassic World: Dominion and Minions: The Rise of Gru.
Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, recently said on CNBC that he believes the company’s film business is doing well following the hybrid model of releasing some films simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service Peacock — like the latest installment in the Halloween franchise developed while waiting to make others available to viewers at home, e.g. B. Minions.
Peacock had a $614 million earnings loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and Comcast said Thursday the company still expects Peacock to post $2.5 billion in losses this year.
The company’s theme park business has recovered strongly since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic when theme parks were shut down. Revenue rose more than 40% to $2.1 billion as more people flocked to its theme parks during the quarter.
In the UK, Comcast’s Sky saw revenue fall 14.7% to $4.3 billion, but said revenue was flat with the prior-year quarter excluding the impact of currency changes. Sky’s total subscribers grew by 320,000 to 23 million, boosted by new streaming customers.
The $8.6 billion write-down on Sky’s business came as the stronger dollar hurt the business on a currency basis and the war in Ukraine and inflation continued to hurt Europe.
Comcast stock hit a 52-week low on Oct. 13 at $28.39. As of Wednesday’s close, shares are down about 37% so far this year.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns CNBC.
Correction: Peacock surpassed 15 million paying customers, up 70% year-to-date, the company said. In a previous version, the percentage was incorrect.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/27/comcast-cmcsa-earnings-q3-2022.html Comcast (CMCSA) Q3 2022 results