Comcast Corporation (CMCSA)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

July 28, 2010 8:30 a.m. ET


Marlene Dooner - SVP, IR

Brian Roberts - CEO

Michael Angelakis - CFO

Steve Burke - COO

Neil Smit - President


Jason Bazinet - Citi

Jessica Reif-Cohen - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

John Hodulik - UBS

Jason Armstrong - Goldman Sachs

Spencer Wang - Credit Suisse

Craig Moffett - Sanford Bernstein

Ben Swinburne - Morgan Stanley

Doug Mitchelson - Deutsche Bank

James Ratcliffe - Barclays Capitals

Marci Ryvicker - Wells Fargo Securities

Mike McCormack - JPMorgan



Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Comcast's Second Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. Please note that this conference call is being recorded. I will now turn the call over to Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Ms. Marlene Dooner. Please go ahead, Ms. Dooner.

Marlene Dooner

Thank you, operator and welcome everyone to our second quarter 2010 earnings call. Joining me on the call are Brian Roberts, Steve Burk, Michael Angelakis and Neil Smit. As always let me first refer you to slide number 2, which contains our Safe Harbor disclaimer and remind you that this conference call may include forward looking statements subject to certain risks and uncertainties.

In addition, in this call we will refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to our 8-K for the reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP. With that let me now turn the call to Brian Roberts for his comments, Brian?

Brian Roberts

Thanks Marlene and good morning everyone. Today we are pleased to report strong financial results for the second quarter and the first half as we continue to focus on profitable growth. In the second quarter, revenue and operating cash flow growth accelerated to 6%, and we generated $1.4 billion of free cash flow, an increase of 16%.

These results reflect improved video revenue, double-digit growth and high speed internet and voice revenues and strong momentum in our business services group. In addition, a stronger advertising market helped us achieve advertising revenue of 20% or more in both our cable and programming businesses. These healthy financial results also take into account the typical seasonality in our cable markets in the second quarter and other promotional activities last year including the country's digital transition.

I believe our strong results demonstrate that we are striking a good balance between revenue, cash flow and customer growth. And we remain disciplined in managing operating expenses and capital. It's still difficult to see perfectly the direction and strength of the economy. So, we remain cautious but optimistic about our ability to continue to execute in this environment.

Under the new leadership of Neil Smit, who is of to a fantastic start internally, we are continuing to make steady progress deploying all digital and DOCSIS 3.0 strategic initiatives that dramatically improve our product offerings to consumers and strengthen our competitive positive now and in the future.

We have now deployed all digital and about 60% of our markets, and we're currently active in 80% of our footprint allowing us to significantly increase our product offering in HD television, foreign language programming and on-demand. We're also building a leadership position in 3D with movies, events and sports.

We now reach more than 80% of our footprint with DOCSIS 3.0, which reinforces our product superiority as we double the speed to our existing customers, and introduce new higher speed services like 50 megabits to more than 40 million homes available. We're also delivering accelerating growth in revenues and operating cash and strong growth in free cash flow while we invest to improve the customers experience and to support new growth opportunities that position the company for future success.

Another opportunity for Comcast is NBC Universal, which Steve Burke has turned much of his focus to planning on a successful integration. We're eight months into the regulatory approval process, and we're on track to close this transaction we hope by year-end. As Steve will discuss, we are well underway in our planning, and we are more excited about the prospects of this combination now than we first announced the transaction last December.

It provides the real opportunities to deliver the best entertainment experience to consumers, and to drive value creation for our shareholders. Let me now pass to Michael Angelakis to cover the second quarter results in more detail. Mike?

Michael Angelakis

Thank you, Brian. Let me begin by briefly reviewing our consolidated results starting on slide four. Overall, we are pleased with our second quarter results reflecting our continued focus on profitable growth as we continue to balance revenue operating cash flow and customer growth and remain very focused on expense and capital management.

Second quarter consolidated revenue increased 6.1% to 9.5 billion, and operating cash flow grew 5.7% to 3.7 billion resulting in a consolidated operating cash flow margin of 39.2%. This quarters operating cash flow results include approximately 22 million of operating expense related to the NBC Universal transaction which is included in our corporate and other segments.

Excluding these costs consolidated operating cash flow grew 6.3% and our operating cash flow margin increased at 39.5% from 39.4% in 2009. We are also very focused on free cash flow and free cash flow per share and earnings per share as important metric in evaluating the strength of the enterprise.

In each of this key metric our performance during the second quarter and on a year-to-date basis were strong and reflected continued progress and growth. During the second quarter we generated consolidated free cash flow of 1.4 billion an increase of 15.8% versus the second quarter of last year. On a year-to-date basis, free cash flow has increased 27.8% to 3.2 billion from 2.5 billion in 2009.

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