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reported sharply higher fourth-quarter results Monday that were boosted by strong growth in its cable division.

The third-largest U.S. cable operator, based in Philadelphia, reported fourth-quarter earnings of $778.5 million, or 81 cents a share, up from a loss of $174.2 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same period last year.

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Cash flow, a widely watched indicator for cable companies, rose to $674.9 million from $533.7 million last year. Revenue for the quarter was $2.41 billion, compared with $1.93 billion a year ago.

Looking ahead, Comcast reiterated its guidance for 2001 revenue and operating cash flow growth. It expects 13% to 14% revenue growth and between 12% to 13% operating cash flow growth in 2001.

Shares of Comcast closed up $41.56 in Friday's trading on the