Comcast on Wednesday reported healthy fourth quarter earnings and sales that topped expectations.
The cable giant reported earnings of $1.02 billion, or 36 cents a share, on revenue of $9.7 billion, up 7 percent from a year ago. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 32 cents a share on revenue of $9.58 billion. For 2010, Comcast reported net income of $3.63 billion, or $1.29 a share, on revenue of $37.9 billion. Meanwhile, Comcast raised its dividend by 19 percent and said it will step up its stock buyback plans.
Comcast's quarterly results didn't include NBCUniversal, which will be consolidated in the cable company's financial reports in the first quarter. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said the company saw accelerating growth through the year, a "robust advertising market" and good results in its residential, commercial and programming units.
By the numbers:
Comcast's cable revenue was $9.15 billion, up 7 percent from a year ago. Programming revenue was up 13.6 percent from a year ago to $419 million.
The company lost 135,000 net video customers in the fourth quarter, but added 292,000 net high speed Internet customers. Comcast added 257,000 net voice customers in the fourth quarter.
For 2010, Comcast ended the year with 22.8 million video customers and 16.98 million high speed Internet customers. Voice customers at the end of 2010 were 8.6 million.
As for capital spending, Comcast said it will continue to deploy an all-digital network and invest in business services.