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Comcast Loses 69,000 Subscribers; Internet Customer Additions Down 12%, But Revenue Higher

Phillip Dampier July 23, 2015 Comcast/Xfinity, Consumer News No Comments

Comcast-LogoNEW YORK (Reuters) – Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator, posted in-line second-quarter results, as its high-speed Internet and NBC Universal businesses grew amid a drop in pay-TV subscriber departures.

Comcast, also the No.1 U.S. high-speed Internet provider, said on Thursday total revenue rose 11.3 percent to $18.74 billion in the second quarter ended June 30. Analysts on average had forecast revenue of $18.14 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income attributable to Comcast rose 7.3 percent to $2.14 billion, or 84 cents per share, from a year earlier.

Profit was up 10 percent from a year ago to 84 cents per share after excluding items such as investments and acquisition-related items, matching Wall Street estimates.

The company, which lost 8,000 video customers last quarter, reigned in subscriber losses in the second quarter compared to a year ago. It said 69,000 subscribers departed from April through June, but it was less than the 144,000 users who left a year earlier.

cablecordWall Street keeps a close watch on the number of new video subscribers as pay TV operators fight to keep customers amidst intense competition from streaming video services such as Dish Corp’s Sling TV.

Earlier this month, Comcast said it is beta testing a new cable streaming service called Stream, which will broadcast live TV from HBO and about a dozen other networks for $15 per month. The new service lets Comcast’s Xfinity Internet customers stream live TV over phones, tablets and laptops.

Comcast’s high-speed Internet customer additions dropped 12 percent to 180,000, but revenue from the business rose about 10 percent to $3.1 billion.

Business services revenue increased 20.4 percent to $1.16 billion.

At NBC Universal, revenue rose 20.2 percent to $7.23 billion from a year earlier.

Revenue at the film studio rose 93 percent from a year earlier to $2.3 billion, bolstered by its summer blockbusters “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World.”

The Universal theme park business, with its popular “Harry Potter” attraction in Florida, saw revenue rise 26 percent to $773 million.

Advertising revenue at cable networks fell 3 percent in the quarter to $917 million amid a decline in ratings that has hit networks across the TV industry. The NBC broadcast network’s ad revenue rose a modest 0.3 percent to $1.25 billion.

Shares of Comcast, which abandoned its proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc in late April, closed at $64.50 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

(By Malathi Nayak; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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