Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Thursday, a lifted its quarterly dividend, as cable revenues and subscribers to its Peacock streaming service showed solid gains.
Comcast said adjusted profits for the three months ending in December were pegged at 56 cents per share, down 29.1% from the same period last year but 6 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Comcast said, fell 2.4% to $27.71 billion, again beating analysts' estimates of a $26.78 billion tally.
Comcast said it added a net 538,000 broadband subscribers over the three-month period, down 18,000 on a sequential basis, with cable revenues rising 6.4% to $15.71 billion. The group also said it has 33 million subscribers to tis new Peacock streaming service
“Outstanding performance at Cable drove very strong fourth quarter results for our company. We added 538,000 net new broadband customers and delivered Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 12%. Our theme parks in Orlando and Osaka reached breakeven; and encouragingly, Sky returned to customer growth in all three of its markets, bringing our total customer relationships and overall revenue in Europe essentially back to 2019 levels," said CEO Brian Roberts.
"With the vaccines rolling out throughout the world, we are optimistic that the parts of our business that had been most impacted will soon be back on a path towards growth. This confidence is shared by our Board of Directors, which has announced an increase in the dividend for the thirteenth consecutive year," he added. "In addition, it is now our expectation that we will be in a position to begin repurchasing shares again in the back half of this year."
Comcast shares were marked 3.7% higher in early trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $50.13 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 16%.