Comcast Exceeds Expectations Despite Peacock Losses and Slowing Broadband Growth

Comcast Exceeds Expectations Despite Peacock Losses and Slowing Broadband Growth

Comcast, the cable and media giant, has exceeded expectations with its first quarter earnings report. The company’s shares rose more than 3% in premarket trading and have increased by over 4% this year through Wednesday’s close.

For the quarter ending on March 31, Comcast reported earnings of $3.83 billion, or 91 cents per share. This is compared to $3.55 billion, or 78 cents per share, from the same period last year. Adjusting for one-time items, Comcast posted earnings per share of 92 cents in the most recent period.

Revenue dropped 4% to $29.69 billion from $31.01 billion in the prior-year period. The company attributes this decrease to the fact that last year it had broadcast both the Super Bowl and Beijing Olympics during the first quarter. However, the company’s first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization grew 3% to $9.42 billion.

Slowing Broadband Growth and Peacock Losses

Although Comcast exceeded expectations, the company’s residential broadband business experienced slowing growth and Peacock losses. Comcast lost 21,000 residential broadband customers during the quarter, but received a slight boost from its business customers. Company executives had warned earlier this year that Comcast was likely to lose broadband subscribers in the first quarter.

The media business’s revenue decreased in the first quarter, with revenue dropping nearly 40% to $6.15 billion, due to its comparison last year when NBC aired the Super Bowl and had the rights to the Beijing Olympics for its TV networks and Peacock. However, excluding the $1.5 billion incremental revenue from these two major sporting events, media revenue was still down about 2%.

Comcast said Peacock subscribers grew more than 60% year-over-year to 22 million, and revenue was up 45% to $685 million. However, Peacock had $704 million in losses, up from losses of $456 million in the same period last year. Last quarter, the company noted Peacock losses would amount to about $3 billion this year. The streaming service’s costs continued to weigh on the media segment’s earnings.

Despite these challenges, Comcast’s Xfinity mobile business grew to nearly 5.67 million customers during the quarter. The company’s theme park segment also saw significant growth with revenue up 25% to $1.95 billion, boosted by the opening of Super Nintendo World.

In conclusion, while Comcast faced challenges in its residential broadband business and media segment, the company’s overall performance exceeded expectations. Comcast’s Xfinity mobile business and theme park segment saw growth, and the company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization grew 3% to $9.42 billion during the first quarter.

Business

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