Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Get Report) reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings Thursday, but softer revenue clouded the media group's first-quarter report following the $39 billion takeover of Britain's Sky last year.
Comcast said earnings for the three months ended in March came in at 77 cents per share, up 24.2% from the same period last year and two cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, however, came in at $26.86 billion a figure that missed analysts' estimates even as it rose 17.85% from last year thanks to a pro-forma contribution from Sky of $4.8 billion.
"Comcast is off to a terrific start in 2019, financially, operationally and strategically. In the first quarter, we delivered strong EBITDA and earnings per share growth, as well as robust free cash flow," said CEO Brian Roberts. "Comcast Cable had the best quarterly EBITDA growth in over a decade, while NBCUniversal again posted favorable results. We also continued to strengthen our leadership position in valuable customer relationships and premium content."
"Now with the inclusion of Sky, we grew customer relationships by 3.6% year-over-year, including 400,000 net additions in the first quarter, reaching over 54 million relationships in total," he added. "Across all parts of the company, our teams are executing at a high level and collaborating to drive growth and innovation. I'm excited about this quarter's results and the opportunities ahead."
Comcast shares were up 2.7% on Thursday to $42.98.
Comcast said it lost 121,000 video customers in the quarter, thanks in part to a host of rival offerings from rivals such as AT&T (T - Get Report) and Verizon (VZ - Get Report) , but along with Sky, added 412,000 new customer relationships, as cable communications revenue rose 4.23% to $14.28 billion as average revenue per use edged 0.6% higher to $155.75.