While Comcast's financial results for the quarter were generally consistent with Wall Street's expectations, the MSO's subscriber results were disappointing.
As Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett noted in a Comcast research bulletin:
Broadband net additions, undoubtedly the most closely watched metric in the quarter, slipped to 450K, down 16% versus the 536K in 3Q last year, and 11% below our lowered forecast of 505K... Net video subscriber growth was a similar story. The market had come to expect a loss -- the housing market is simply too weak to expect otherwise -- but the loss (-65K) was nevertheless a touch larger than investors had come to expect (we were at -44K). Digital was stronger than expected; phone was in line -- a big number, to be sure (664K additions), but no better than expected (forecast 684K additions)."
Comcast did set a record in one product category, though. The MSO reported its largest-ever reduction in circuit-switched telephone subscribers, retiring 138,000 customers in the quarter. (See Cable's Circuit Switcheroo.)
— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News