Comcast earnings top estimates for Q2; high-speed Internet growth

Comcast earnings for 2Q11 were up 16 percent, fueled by its newly-acquired NBCUniversal division and growth in high-speed Internet customers.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Comcast on Tuesday night announced that its earnings for the second quarter were up 16 percent. The company showed subscriber growth despite the continued loss of pay-TV customers.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator, said it saw strong growth in broadband. Despite declining pay-TV customers, Comcast said it was able to generate more revenue per customer in that business.

Comcast's cable business represents more than 80 percent of its operating cash flow.

Interestingly, Comcast also showed revenue growth for its NBCUniversal unit, which it recently acquired from GE. It said that the unit's revenue was 17 percent higher than it would have been last year.

"In cable we saw continued improvement in customer metrics, real strength in our high-speed Internet service and strong momentum in business services," CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.

The numbers:

  • Revenue increased 50.5 percent to $14.3 billion
  • Operating cash flow increased 28.5 percent to $4.8 billion
  • Operating income increased 41.4 percent to $2.9 billion
  • Cable revenue increased 5.6 percent year-over-year to $9.3 billion. This was driven by a 10.3 percent increase in high-speed internet revenue and a 41.7 percent increase in business services revenue.
  • Advertising revenue increased 3.7 percent, mostly due to a slowdown in automotive and political advertising.
  • Monthly average total revenue per video customer increased 8.9 percent to $137.51.

Here's a look at the cable numbers:

And the customer picture:

Comcast added 144,000 high-speed Internet customers, up from 118,000 the same quarter a year ago.

Other highlights:

  • Cable networks: Higher revenue, but partially offset by increased investment in original programming and higher marketing expenses to support the launch of new programming.
  • Broadcast television: Higher advertising revenue from improved pricing and ratings at the NBC broadcast network, plus higher content licensing revenue.
  • Film: Strong box office performance of "Fast Five" and "Bridesmaids," partially offset by lower content licensing and home entertainment revenue.
  • Theme Parks (Universal): Higher revenue, thanks to "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter."

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