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Comcast beats earnings expectations, but falls short on new internet customers

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Brian Roberts, CEO, Comcast, speaks with Jim Cramer, on CNBC’s “Mad Money” from Philadelphia, September 6, 2018.
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Comcast reported fourth quarter earnings Thursday that beat analyst estimates on the top and bottom line but missed on high-speed internet customer net additions.

Shares rose more than 2% during premarket trading on the report.

Here are the key numbers:

Earnings per share: 77 cents, adjusted vs. 73 cents estimated per a Refinitiv survey of analysts
Revenue: $30.34 billion vs. $29.61 billion estimated, according to Refinitiv
High-speed internet customers: 212,000 net additions vs. 220,000 estimated, according to FactSet

Comcast said its dividend increased 8% to 27 cents per quarter and that it increased its stock buyback authorization by $10 billion.

The company warned about lower-than-expected broadband customer growth in the fourth quarter at an event last month.

Here’s how Comcast’s divisions did in the quarter compared with a year earlier:

Cable Communications contributed $16.41 billion in revenue, up 4.5%
Media brought in $5.83 billion in revenue, up 8.4%
Studios contributed $2.42 billion in revenue, up 36.4%
Theme Parks brought in $1.89 billion in revenue, up 191.3%
Sky contributed $5.08 billion in revenue, down 2.5%

NBCUniversal’s ad-supported streaming platform, Peacock, ended 2021 with 24.5 million monthly active accounts. As of July, the company said it had 54 million sign-ups to the platform, which entered a crowded field of competitors including Netflix, Disney and Amazon.

The company said its media results included $335 million of revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $559 million related to Peacock, compared to $71 million in revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $254 million compared to the same quarter last year.

After extended shutdowns due to the pandemic, the company’s theme parks business saw a big bounce back, seeing its most profitable fourth quarter on record, even while access to international guests remained constrained. The segment brought in $1.89 billion in revenue, a 191.3% increase from the year-ago quarter.

Sky saw a slight decrease in revenue compared to the same quarter last year, mainly due to lower content revenue in part because of changes to sports programming licensing and direct-to-consumer revenue.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of CNBC parent company NBCUniversal.

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