Comcast Spectrum Sale Boosts Q3 Profit
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s sale of assets, including spectrum to Verizon Wireless , contributed to a hefty third-quarter profit boost as the nation's largest operator continued to narrow its video subscriber losses and gain in other service categories.
Net income at the nation's largest MSO rose 136.4 percent to $2.11 billion (78 cents per share) on revenues of $16.54 billion. Without the $0.20-per-share gain tied to Comcast's $2.3 billion sale of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum and its sale of NBCUniversal LLC 's interest in A&E Television Networks, earnings rose 39.4 percent, to 46 cents per share. (See MSOs Sell AWS Spectrum to Verizon for $3.6B .)
Thomson Reuters had expected third-quarter earnings of $0.46 per share on revenues of $16.07 billion.
Business Services was again a highlight, with revenues of $621 million, up 33.6 percent from a year ago.
On the customer front, Comcast shed 117,000 video subs in the third quarter, 6,000 fewer than what analysts were expecting, and improved from the 165,000 video subs it lost in the year-ago quarter. It marked the eighth consecutive quarter in which Comcast narrowed video subscriber losses versus the year-ago period.
Comcast beat Wall Street estimates in other categories as it signed up 287,000 high-speed Internet customers and 123,000 voice customers. Comcast added 261,000 cable modem subs and 133,000 voice customers in the third quarter of 2011.
Capital expenditures tied to cable operators increased $110 million, or 8.8 percent, to $1.4 billion, reflecting network upgrades, the expansion of business services and other new product deployments.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable