Comcast Says Coronavirus Might Materially Hurt Results in the Near to Medium Term

Comcast says the coronavirus might have a "material adverse impact" on its results in the near to medium term. Quantifying the effect will depend on a number of factors.

Comcast says the coronavirus might materially hurt its results in the near to medium term, but quantifying it will depend on a number of factors. 

"We expect that the ultimate significance of the impact of Covid-19 on our businesses will vary but will generally depend on the extent of governmental measures affecting day to day life and the length of time that such measures remain in place to respond" to the disease, the Philadelphia entertainment and internet company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission Form 8-K dated Tuesday.

"At this point, it is impossible to predict such extent and duration and the degree to which supply and demand for our products and services, including advertising, will be affected.". 

The company said that the disease and the measures taken to prevent its spread has caused it to close its theme parks and delay distribution of films  both domestically and internationally in theaters.

Comcast said the creation and availability of its film and TV programming in the U.S. and globally "has been disrupted."

Comcast cited the postponement of sporting events as a potential pandemic-related headwind against the company. 

This, it said, includes the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games until summer 2021 at the latest. That was announced Tuesday following a call between Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee.  

Then there's the company's purchase of British pay-TV broadcaster Sky. Comcast says that the disease's impact worsens what had already been a "deteriorating economic environment and advertising market in the U.K. and Europe in 2019."

And as for the Comcast Cable business, "while our network performs well to meet the challenge of business and schooling from home, [it] will not be unaffected either as economic stress impacts our residential and business services customer base."

At last check Comcast shares were 0.6% higher at $34.39.