Comcast Q2 Beats Estimates on Earnings But Misses on Revenue

Comcast’s second quarter earnings beat analysts estimates but total revenue came in just shy of expectations.

The media giant delivered $26.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, compared to analysts forecasts of about $27.06 billion, while adjusted earnings per share came in at 78 cents, surpassing the consensus estimate of 75 cents per share. The impact of Comcast’s acquisition of Sky was seen in the 23.6% spike in revenue for the quarter year over year, while adjusted earnings per share perked up 13% from the year-ago quarter.

Comcast’s cable division was right on target with net high-speed internet customer additions of 209,000, just above the consensus target of 208,000 net adds. The rate of decline in traditional video customers accelerated compared to the year-ago quarter with a net loss of 224,000 customers, compared to a loss of 140,000 in Q2 2018. Comcast’s video subscriber base now stands at 21.6 million.

NBCUniversal had a slower quarter overall with total revenue declining 0.8% to $8.2 billion, reflecting softness in advertising at the broadcast and cable programming segments. Adjusted earnings grew 8.1% to $2.3 billion, thanks largely to a drop in expenses from the year-ago quarter when Telemundo shelled out big bucks for Spanish-language rights to the World Cup tournament.

Advertising sales also slowed at Sky, which saw total revenue declined 3.3% to $4.8 billion. Content revenue for the U.K. and European satcaster spiked 27.7% to $376 million, reflecting what Comcast said was “the wholesaling of sports programming, including exclusive sports rights recently acquired in Italy and Germany, as well as monetization of our slate of original programming.” Advertising sales dropped 5.6%to $563 million.

Comcast said total customer relationships for Sky grew 304,000 to 24 million. That number included an undisclosed number of net video adds which Comcast attributed to “unique content launches.”

“I am very pleased with our terrific second quarter results and the continued, successful execution of our strategy,” said Brian Roberts, Comcast chairman-CEO. “Each of our businesses demonstrated healthy growth in adjusted EBITDA, contributing to a double-digit increase in adjusted earnings per share. Our company’s consistent, profitable growth is fueled by our leading scale in direct customer relationships and premier content. We now have nearly 55 million high-value direct customer relationships, including the 456,000 net additions in the second quarter, and a vast library of intellectual property and new productions that are extremely popular across generations and geographies. Our teams throughout the company continue to collaborate to make themselves and each other even stronger, and I’m excited about our growth opportunities ahead.”

More to come

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