Comcast’s decision to buy into, and then buy all of, NBCUniversal is now paying off in spades as the nation’s largest cable operator reported a 28.6 percent increase in earnings in the second quarter.
Broadband continued to chip in on Comcast’s bottom line with the addition of 187,000 new subscribers in the quarter, which was a 20 percent increase over the same quarter a year go. On the basic video subscriber front, Comcast bled 159,000 customers in the second quarter, but that was a slower rate of departure than in previous quarters. Voice subscriber additions totaled 161,000 in the second quarter.
The second quarter marked the first time that Comcast reported its earnings as the full owner of NBCUniversal. Comcast bought a 51 percent stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric in 2011, and then purchased the remaining 49 percent from GE in March for $16.7 billion.
In the second quarter, NBCUniversal posted a 9 percent increase in revenue to $6 billion, which was above analysts’ estimates of $5.75 billion.
Comcast’s broadband revenue increased 8 percent in the quarter, and, despite the subscriber losses, video posted a 2.7 percent revenue gain while business services jumped up 26.4 percent.
"We are pleased with our results this quarter,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said. “Cable had outstanding growth, particularly in high-speed Internet, and NBCUniversal had strong performance across all of its businesses. Our focus on delivering innovative products and a superior customer experience is driving our success, including stronger video, voice and business services results in cable. NBCUniversal has real momentum, with solid growth in revenue and double-digit cash flow growth. We have a fantastic combination of cable and content businesses with many opportunities ahead."
In the second quarter, Comcast earned $1.73 billion, or 65 cents per share, compared to $1.35 billion, or 50 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Overall revenue rose 7 percent to $16.3 billion from $15.2 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of 63 cents per share on revenue of $16 billion.
Revenue for Comcast’s cable division increased 5.8 percent to $10.5 billion in the second quarter of 2013 compared to $9.9 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Comcast noted that the increase in revenue reflected rate adjustments, customers receiving higher levels of services and customer growth in the broadband and voice services.
Combined video, data and voice subscribers increased by 189,000 in the second quarter of 2013, a 37 percent increase in net additions compared to second quarter 2012, reflecting growth in high-speed Internet and voice customers and reduced losses in video customers. As of June 30, 2013, video, high-speed Internet and voice customers totaled 52.1 million, an increase of 1.6 million or 3.1 percent over last year's second quarter.