Comcast Builds On Its Strengths, Showing Broadband And Theme Park Gains To Exceed Wall Street Expectations In Q3

Comcast posted strong results in its broadband business and theme parks return in the third quarter, beating Wall Street forecasts.

The media giant on Thursday reported total revenue of $ 30.3 billion in the quarter, a 19% increase from the same period a year ago. Earnings per share of 87 cents beat analyst consensus by 12 cents.

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Customer retention in the cable unit was the highest level in company history for a third quarter. On a net basis, 300,000 broadband customers were added. These gains offset a loss of 408,000 traditional video customers.

The Tokyo Olympics also provided a significant financial boost. While the two-week event posed a myriad of challenges, being held without fans in attendance and with continued audience fragmentation, advertisers have consistently shown their support.

NBCUniversal revenue jumped 58% to $ 10 billion in the quarter. Advertising revenue in the media segment rose 73%, a jump the company attributes to Olympic Games broadcasts, higher prices and additional Peacock sales.

Studio revenues soared 27% to $ 2.4 billion as theaters reopened and Universal saw strong ticket sales from F9 and The Boss Baby: family business. In the end, however, the higher spending took a bite out. Adjusted EBITDA fell 47% from the prior year period to $ 179 million. The company cited an increase in programming and production spending, reflecting higher amortization of TV and film production costs in the current period. Spending on advertising, marketing and promotion also increased. reflecting more theatrical releases compared to.

The theme parks unit’s revenue nearly doubled from the 2020 period decimated by Covid, earning $ 1.1 billion to $ 1.4 billion. The parks division’s adjusted EBITDA was $ 434 million in the quarter, including pre-opening costs related to Universal Beijing Resort. The prior year quarter recorded an adjusted EBITDA loss of $ 174 million.

The results release did not include any statistics for Peacock, the direct-to-consumer streaming service launched in the spring of 2020. Last July, Comcast said the outlet reached 54 million users, of which 20 million were active on on a monthly basis. The company has yet to break down the number of subscribers at Peacock’s top premium tier.

Investors reacted well to the results, pushing Comcast shares up 3% in pre-market trading, to around $ 54. The stock is up slightly in 2021 to date but has been declining for the past two months.

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