Video services

Comcast's Record Quarter

2:00 PM -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s third quarter results spooked investors heading into Halloween. The MSO's share price has slipped 12 percent since reporting earnings.

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

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