Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) beat expectations for earnings in the third quarter, while subscriber losses deepened.
Comcast reported earnings of 52 cents a share for the three months ended in September, compared to earnings of 49 cents expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Comcast shares were marked 0.35% lower in Thursday premarket trading, indicated to open at $36.20, after closing at $36.83 on Wednesday.
The media giant, which owns the NBC TV networks and the Universal Pictures film studio, reported subscriber losses had deepened throughout the quarter, falling by 125,000. Comcast had warned in September that it was expecting to lose as many as 150,000 video subscribers in the third quarter. The company said that it expected the tropical storms and hurricanes in the U.S. to have an impact on subscriber numbers.
Net income at the U.S.'s largest cable group rose 18.5% to $2.65 billion, while revenue fell 1.6% to $20.98 billion. FactSet analysts has been expecting Comcast's revenue to hit $21.06 billion for the quarter.
In Comcast's biggest business, cable and internet, revenue was up 5.1% to $13.2 billion and adjusted earnings grew 5.2% to $5.24 billion.
"Adjusted EBITDA increased 5% despite the impact of the severe storms that affected our operations this year and the uneven comparison due to the Rio Olympics last year," Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement.
At NBCUniversal, revenue was down 12.7% to $8 billion from the same time period last year, which included the Rio Olympics. Excluding the Olympics, revenue was up 6%. Adjusted earnings rose 6%, or 20% excluding the Olympics, to $2.27 billion. Revenues at NBC's cable networks fell 11.5%, but rose 3.7% excluding the Olympics, to $2.6 billion.
"During the quarter, they gave you some downbeat information," TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer said, adding that this was interpreted by the markets as if its business is not growing. "I don't think that's the case - I think the business is good."
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