Shares of Comcast Corp. were up 3.0% in premarket trading Thursday after the cable giant beat earnings expectations for its latest quarter amid further growth in broadband and a continued recovery in theme parks.
The company recorded third-quarter net income of $4.04 billion, or 86 cents a share, up from $2.02 billion, or 44 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. On an adjusted basis, Comcast
earned 87 cents a share, up from 65 cents a share a year prior and ahead of the FactSet consensus, which called for 75 cents a share.
Comcast’s revenue increased to $30.3 billion from $25.5 billion as the theme-park and media businesses continued their recovery from the pandemic. Analysts tracked by FactSet were expecting $29.9 billion in total revenue.
The cable segment grew revenue to $16.1 billion from $15.0 billion, fueled by growth in broadband, wireless, and advertising revenue. Analysts had been modeling $15.9 billion in cable revenue.
Heading into the report, some analysts expressed concern about looming competitive challenges in broadband while noting that cable giants Comcast and Charter Communications Inc.
posed their own threats to the wireless industry after both recently cut prices for their wireless plans.
Comcast added 285,000 wireless lines in the third quarter and had “the most wireless net additions since the launch of Xfinity Mobile in 2017,” Chief Executive Brian Roberts said in a release. Total customer relationships for the cable business increased by 255,000.
Revenue for Comcast’s NBCUniversal Division jumped to $10.0 billion from $6.3 billion and came in above the FactSet consensus of $9.4 billion. Advertising revenue within the segment surged 73% in part due to the Tokyo Olympics.
The company also benefited from “improved operating conditions” that helped the theme-park unit grow revenue to $1.4 billion from $385 million in the year-earlier period, when the parks were closed or at limited capacity due to the pandemic.
Comcast saw revenue from its Sky pay-TV segment rise to $5.0 billion from $4.8 billion. Sky experienced lower content revenue due to changes in sports licensing agreements in Italy and Germany, as well as the timing of sports events relative to a year earlier, but it also saw higher advertising and direct-to-consumer revenue.
Shares of Comcast have lost 10.5% over the past three months as the S&P 500
has risen 3.4%.