Comcast Q4 Earnings Beat Expectations, Adds 350K Web Users

The cable giant reported it added a net of 350,000 new broadband subscribers and increased business services revenue by 12.2%.

PHILADELPHIA — Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) on Wednesday reported upbeat financial results in the fourth quarter of 2017.

GAAP net income was $15 billion compared with $2.4 billion in the prior-year quarter. Quarterly adjusted earnings per share of 49 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents.

Total revenues were $21.9 billion, up 4.2% year over year and outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $21.8 billion. Operating income was $4.1 billion compared with $4.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $6.6 billion, down 0.1% year over year.

Comcast reported it generated $5.4 billion of cash from operations compared with $5.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. Free cash flow was $2 billion compared with $2.6 billion in the year-ago quarter.

As of Dec 31, cash and cash equivalents were $3.4 billion, up from $3.3 billion at the end of 2016. Total debt was $59.4 billion compared with $55.6 billion at the end of 2016.

Cable and Internet Segment

With 29.3 million customers, Comcast’s Xfinity is one of the biggest residential providers of video, Internet and phone. High-speed Internet service is the largest source of sales growth for the company.

The company gained a net of 350,000 broadband customers and 52,000 security and automation customers. However, it lost 13,000 voice customers and 33,000 video customers during the quarter. Comcast gained 73,000 double-play subscribers and 140,000 single-play subscribers, but lost 3,000 triple and quad product customers.

Total revenues were $13,282 million, up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. Video revenues were $5,733 million, increasing 1.5% from the prior-year quarter. High-Speed Internet revenues totaled $3,775 million, up 8.4% year over year. Voice revenues were $832 million, down 4.6% year over year.

Xfinity Mobile, Other Developments

Comcast initiated the nationwide rollout of the DOCSIS 3.1 technology, with its latest xFi Advanced Gateway. The company said it completed the nationwide rollout of its wireless services under the Xfinity Mobile brand, and added YouTube in its X1 video platform. The company also said it is entering into the highly competitive U.S. wireless market to compete with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

Comcast’s Business Services have been experiencing strong momentum with deployment underway of fiber-based 2 gigabits per second (2 Gbps) residential broadband Internet services in certain regions. Comcast is venturing into residential solar programs as well with a 40-month deal with Sunrun.

The company said it is working toward deploying a 5G network to mitigate customer churn and provide viewers with more streaming options.

Share Repurchase Program

During the fourth quarter, Comcast paid dividends of $736 million and repurchased 32.4 million common shares for $1.2 billion. For the full year, the company made four cash dividend payments of $2.9 billion and repurchased 130.9 million of its common shares for $5.0 billion, resulting in a total of $7.9 billion capital return to shareholders.

As of Dec 31, Comcast had $7 billion available under its share repurchase authorization. The company said it expects to repurchase at least $5 billion of its Class A common stock during 2018, which is subject to market conditions.

Additionally, Comcast announced that it has increased dividend by 21% to 76 cents per share on an annualized basis. Accordingly, the board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 19 cents on the company’s common stock. The dividend will be paid on April 25 to shareholders of record as of April 4.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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