Comcast on Fire

Third-quarter numbers beat targets.
Publish date:

Updated from 7:15 a.m.


(CMCSA) - Get Report

beat third-quarter targets as the cable company continued adding digital subscribers at a rapid clip.

Shares rose 4% in early trading Thursday.

The Philadelphia-based company made $969 million, or 46 cents a share, from continuing operations for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from the year-ago $198 million, or 9 cents a share. Excluding certain items, including gains on the company's acquisition of assets from bankrupt Adelphia Communications, latest-quarter earnings were 26 cents a share on an adjusted basis, beating the Thomson Financial target by 7 cents.

Revenue rose to $6.43 billion from $5.28 billion a year earlier, beating the $6.41 billion Wall Street estimate.

"We're setting new records in the third quarter, underscoring the strong momentum in our cable business," said CEO Brian Roberts. "All our key metrics are accelerating, including revenue and operating cash flow, as well as RGU additions, which reached their highest quarterly level in our company's history. Cable's outstanding results reflect both great execution and growing demand for our Triple Play offering."

The company added 1.49 million revenue generating units, or RGUs, in the quarter, and operating cash flow rose 15% from a year ago to $2.6 billion.

The company added 558,000 new digital subscribers and said digital penetration now exceeds 50%. It added 536,000 high-speed Internet users, its best performance in two years. Comcast added 483,000 digital voice customers.

The company reaffirmed full year guidance, calling for cable revenue growth of 10%-11%.