Comcast (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report soundly beat analysts' estimates in its first-quarter earnings report thanks in part to higher revenue from its NBCUniversal division. 

Comast said first-quarter earnings came in at 53 cents a share, well ahead of the 44 cent forecast complied by FactSet and up more than 20% from the same period last year. Revenue for the period also topped forecasts, rising 8.9% to $20.46 billion and beating the consensus of $20.1 billion.

"2017 is off to the fastest start in five years," said CEO Brian Roberts. "We are reporting outstanding growth at Cable and particularly NBCUniversal, which delivered 14.7% revenue growth and 24.4% Adjusted EBITDA growth. These impressive results were fueled by exceptionally strong film performance, increased affiliate and retransmission revenues at our TV businesses, and continued growth in Theme Parks."

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Revenue at Comcast's NBCUniversal unit was up 14.7%, the company said, taking adjusted operating earnings 24.4% higher to just over $2 billion. Cable Communications revenue jumped 5.8% to $12.9 billion, the company said, while operating earnings outpaced, rising 6.3% to $5.2 billion.

Comcast shares closed at $38.79 in New York Wednesday after rising 0.78% on the session and extending their year-to-date gain to 12.8%, just ahead of the 11.9% gain for the Nasdaq benchmark.