By Emily Bary
All three business units post see revenue climb more than anticipated for third quarter
Shares of Comcast Corp. headed higher in premarket trading Thursday after the media giant topped revenue expectations across all three of its business segments for the third quarter.
Comcast (CMCSA) continued to see strong results from its cable business as more people relied on high-speed internet to work from home. The company also saw growing revenue from its Sky unit as European football resumed, while the revenue declines for NBCUniversal weren't as steep as feared despite theme-park closures and disruptions to the film business.
Shares are up 1.8% in premarket trading.
The company posted third-quarter net income of $2.02 billion, or 44 cents a share, down from $3.22 billion, or 70 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted earnings per share fell to 65 cents from 79 cents, while analysts surveyed by FactSet had been modeling 52 cents.
Comcast saw its revenue for the quarter decrease to $25.53 billion from $26.82 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were projecting $24.74 billion.
The company disclosed 556,000 total customer relationship net additions in cable communications, which it called its best quarterly result on record. Comcast posted 633,000 net additions for high-speed internet, while it saw a net loss of 273,000 total video subscribers. Overall, cable communications revenue rose to $15 billion for the quarter from $14.6 billion a year prior. The revenue came in ahead of the FactSet consensus, which called for $14.7 billion.
In cable, Comcast saw advertising revenue grow by 11.8% driven mainly by increased political advertising revenue. Excluding political ads, advertising revenue would have declined 6.8%, the company said.
Comcast's NBCUniversal segment felt the sting from theme park closures due to the pandemic. Overall NBCUniversal revenue dropped to $6.72 billion from $8.3 billion. Analysts were expecting $6.46 billion in revenue.
Within the segment, theme-park revenue decreased to $311 million from $1.63 billion. This was "primarily due to Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan operating at limited capacity, while Universal Studios Hollywood remains closed as a result of COVID-19," the company said.
Revenue for Comcast's Sky European TV business increased to $4.79 billion from $4.55 billion, benefitting from the return of European football leagues. Analysts had been modeling $4.22 billion.
Shares have lost 4.4% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 0.4%.
-Emily Bary; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 29, 2020 07:44 ET (11:44 GMT)
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