Video services

Sliding Into Wednesday?

Keep an eye on Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) shares this morning. At last check, the stock was down 50 cents (2.44%) in pre-market trading after the MSO announced Tuesday afternoon that it expects to add 6 million revenue generating units (RGUs) in 2007, lowered from previous guidance of 6.5 million RGUs, which represent the sum of basic and digital cable, high-speed Internet, and net phone subscribers. (See Comcast Lowers RGU Guidance.)

The MSO also expects consolidated free cash flow to be roughly 80 percent of 2006, versus an earlier estimate of at least 90 percent of the 2006 figure.

The company noted that capital expenditures will be roughly $6 billion for the year, up 5 percent from original guidance, citing "increased advanced digital set-top box purchases," as well as its "digital acceleration program," network enhancements, and acquisition-related investments.

In the second quarter, Comcast added a record 823,000 digital cable subs in anticipation of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ban on integrated security set-tops, which went into effect in July 2007. (See Box Deadline Fuels Comcast's Q2.)

Comcast has also filed suit against the FCC after the agency refused to grant waivers on some low-end integrated security boxes, including the Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) DCT700. Comcast contends that the lowest-cost CableCARD-enabled set-top for the Motorola conditional access system is roughly double the cost of the DCT700. (See Comcast Takes CableCARD Battle to Court .)

Much more about Comcast's 2007 outlook will be shared later today when MSO co-CFO Michael Angelakis speaks at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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