This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Comcast Can't Solve Video Sub Slide

Stocks in this article: CMCSA CVC TWC NFLX VZ

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Comcast (CMCSA) shares jumped on strong earnings and shareholder enticements, but core cable customers continued to cancel service and find video elsewhere.

The Philly cable shop posted adjusted earnings of 35 cents a share, up from the 29 cent pro forma profit a year ago and 3 cents better than analysts had predicted.

Sales in the fourth quarter were $9.72 billion, 7% above the $9.07 billion level in the year-ago quarter and above the $9.58 billion analysts were expecting, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Free cash flow grew a whopping 46% to $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter due largely to a 5% cut in capital spending.

And while video customer defections slowed in the fourth quarter, Comcast still lost 3% or 757,000 cable customers in 2010. Industry peer Cablevision (CVC) reported a similar trend Wednesday with a 2% decline in basic video customers for the year.

In an effort to expand beyond the highly competitive cable and Internet delivery model, Comcast acquired media giant NBC Universal late last year. The move is expected to help the cable giant control the costs of TV programming and spread the distribution of shows to multiple devices.

"We have the right strategic mix of assets, strong momentum and many opportunities to build value for our shareholders," CEO Brian Roberts said in a press release Wednesday.

As part of the shareholder value initiative, Comcast said it was increasing its share buyback program by 75% to $2.1 billion and promised to raise the dividend by 19%.

Still, the fourth-quarter results highlight the ongoing struggle to keep its video customer in the face of competition with satellite TV shops Dish (DISH) and DirecTV (DTV), along with bundled TV offerings from telcos like Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T). Comcast, Time Warner Cable (TWC) and the nation's other large cable providers have also felt the squeeze of the so-called cord-cutting trend, where video customers cancel cable subscriptions in favor of free Internet video or movie streaming outfit Netflix (NFLX).

Comcast shares were up 3.23% shortly after market open Wednesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

>To contact this writer, click here: Scott Moritz, or email:

To follow Scott on Twitter, go to

>To send a tip, email:

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs