Comcast profit tops estimates as internet customers grow
29 July, 2018, 03:57 | Author: Leah Owens
Comcast, the biggest US cable provider, shed 140,000 video customers during the quarter, up from 34,000 customers in the prior-year quarter, as TV viewers opt for cheaper streaming options, such as AT&T Inc's newly launched WatchTV at $15.
US cable company Comcast is leading the race to buy Sky after it offered 14.75 pounds a share this month, valuing the group at $34 billion.
On the broadband front, the cableco added 260,000 data customers in the spring quarter, easily beating analyst forecasts and up 49% from the 175,000 added a year ago.
Comcast attributed the weak revenue figure to its blockbuster-bare Universal film slate and the boost in profits to high-margin internet businesses.
Commenting on the results and their potential impact on the bidding war, David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said a takeover by Disney could be beneficial for Sky given the corporation's "enormous back catalogue of content", while Comcast's decision to drop its bid for Fox's assets to focus on Sky "underlines how serious they are".
The price of owning a piece of Twenty-First Century Fox was too high for Comcast shareholders to swallow, according to the company's CEO Brian Roberts.
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Comcast's broadband business helped offset more losses of pay-TV subscribers.
Speaking on Comcast's Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call, Roberts admitted to analysts that the Fox bid was "mostly about worldwide expansion" and accordingly, having ceded to Disney as far as the Fox bid was concerned, the company was now focused on its bid for Sky, where Fox is seeking to acquire the 61 per cent of the broadcaster it does not already own. "The best way to play Comcast's strong results...is to buy Charter".
In the meantime, Comcast reported a 22 percent jump in second-quarter profits, to $3.22 billion, or 69 cents a share.
Comcast added 204,000 Xfinity Mobile customers in the quarter ended June 30. The company also added another 60,000 smart home customers to reach 1.236 million, while voice customers fell by 16,000 to 11.482 million.
Revenue at NBCUniversal edged down 0.1% to $8.3 billion. As a result, the MSO's video revenues slipped 1.6% to about $5.6 billion.
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