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User Growth Powers Comcast

Comcast (CMCSA) matched second-quarter estimates as the cable giant added 1.6 million customers.

The Philadelphia-based company made $588 million, or 19 cents a share, for the quarter ended June 30, up from the year-ago continuing operations profit of $399 million, or 13 cents a share. Revenue rose to $7.71 billion from $5.91 billion a year earlier.

Comcast added 823,000 digital cable customers during the second quarter of 2007, compared with 337,000 digital cable customers added in the same period one year ago. Basic cable subscribers decreased by 95,000 to 24.1 million in what is historically a weak quarter for basic subscriber additions.

The company said it added 330,000 high-speed Internet subscribers during the second quarter and that its penetration now exceeds 26% of customers with that service. Capital expenditures increased 52% to $1.6 billion in the second quarter of 2007, reflecting a 94% increase in RGU additions and a 50% increase in the number of digital customers added with advanced services.

Year-to-date cable capital expenditures totaled approximately $3.0 billion and are expected to decline in the second half of 2007 due to a lower number of set-top box purchases. Set-top box inventory levels as of June 30, 2007 are sufficient to satisfy expected demand in the second half of 2007. In addition, network improvements and integration of the acquired systems from Adelphia and Time Warner were substantially completed by the end of the second quarter of 2007.

Comcast repurchased $752 million of its Class A special common stock, or 27.9 million shares, during the second quarter of 2007. Year to date through June 30, 2007, Comcast repurchased $1.25 billion of its common stock or 46.6 million shares. Remaining availability, as of June 30, 2007, under the company's stock repurchase program is $1.8 billion. Comcast expects such repurchases to occur from time to time in the open market or in private transactions, subject to market conditions.

The company reaffirmed its guidance for the year.

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