By Eva Mathews and Helen Coster
(Reuters) – Comcast Corp’s third-quarter revenue beat Wall Street expectations on Thursday, despite a slowdown in cable subscriber growth after a spike in demand earlier in the pandemic.
Total revenue rose 18.7% to $30.3 billion in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of $29.87 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Comcast brought in record numbers of broadband customers in the beginning of the pandemic, as people began working and studying from home. In the third quarter, total revenue was lifted by broadband customer growth that beat expectations, yet slowed from the same quarter a year ago.
The company gained 300,000 broadband customers in the latest quarter, slightly more than Factset estimate of 297,000, but was down 52.6% from the same period last year. It posted a 7.4% rise in its overall cable revenue and 4.2% growth in overall cable customer relationships including broadband, video, voice and other services.
Comcast’s NBCUniversal media unit benefited from a nearly 48% rise in revenue, as viewers turned to the NBC broadcast network and digital platforms, including the Peacock streaming service to watch the Tokyo Olympics. The Olympics garnered about $1.76 billion in revenue, according to Comcast’s earnings report.
The company’s theme parks division reported its most profitable quarter since the first quarter of 2020, despite the lack of international travelers to U.S. parks, as domestic tourists are spending more when they visit. Theme parks revenue amounted to $1.45 billion during in the third quarter, compared to just $385 million a year ago, when stay-at-home orders crippled the business.
NBCU advertising sales jumped 73% with businesses getting back to spending after a year of slashed marketing budgets.
Net income attributable to Comcast rose to $4.04 billion, or 86 cents per share, from $2.02 billion, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.
(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Helen Coster in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)Internet Explorer Channel Network