Copyright 2005 Inc.

February 3, 2005 Thursday 7:32 AM Eastern Time

Comcast posted a solid fourth quarter Thursday.

For its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the Philadelphia cable giant earned $423 million, or 19 cents a share, up from the year-ago $383 million, or 17 cents a share. Revenue rose to $5.24 billion from $4.74 billion a year earlier. Operating cash flow rose 15 percent from a year ago to $1.97 billion.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $5.25 billion.

"Our 2004 results demonstrate clear consumer demand for all of our new product offerings, led by Comcast High-Speed Internet that added a record 1.7 million new customers in 2004," CEO Brian Roberts said. "We expect robust customer additions to continue in 2005 as we maintain our focus on adding new applications and value to this service."

The company said cable revenue rose 10.6 percent to $4.99 billion and video revenue rose 5.9 percent. The company added 250,000 digital subscribers and 60,000 basic subscribers during the period.

Comcast added 437,000 fast Internet subscribers, and revenue in that business rose 36 percent from a year ago to $855 million. Cable phone revenue fell 5.2 percent from a year earlier, though the company added 10,000 users in the fourth quarter.

The company spent $3.6 billion on capital projects during the quarter, exceeding its guidance by $200 million as the result of a late December purchase of set-top boxes.

Comcast shares closed Wednesday at $31.96.