Comcast's broadband subs shine: First quarter better than expected

Comcast's triple play of video, broadband and phone service proved to be a winning formula in the cable giant's first quarter. The company delivered first quarter earnings of $732 million, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $8.

Comcast's triple play of video, broadband and phone service proved to be a winning formula in the cable giant's first quarter. 

The company delivered first quarter earnings of $732 million, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $8.38 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago. Those results were 4 cents better than Wall Street expected. 

More importantly, Comcast added more subscribers than expected in most metrics. For instance, Comcast added 329,000 high speed Internet subscribers and Credit Suisse projected 257,000. Digital video subscriber additions of 288,000 were also better than expected. Meanwhile, Comcast added 298,000 phone subscribers. The company lost 78,000 basic video subscribers, but that was better than expected too. 

Here's a look at how those subscriber metrics stacked up relative to what Stifel Nicholas was expecting:

Add it up and Comcast's triple play offering appears to be resonating enough to more than fend off encroachment by AT&T and Verizon

By the numbers:

  • Operating cash flow was up 8 percent to $3.4 billion.
  • Free cash flow was $1.4 million, up 95 percent from a year ago due to lower capital expenditures. 

  • Comcast's "other" revenue line, which includes Comcast Interactive Media, had revenue of $125 million, up 15 percent from a year ago. The operating cash flow loss was $74 million, down from $81 million a year ago.
  • One of the more interesting items on Comcast's earnings call was a riff on how it is using digital video to recapture capacity on its network. Here's the money slide:

In light of that slide, Comcast wants folks to drop basic video connections pronto.