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Basic Momentum Continues at Comcast


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Comcast continued to whittle away at basic subscriber losses in the second quarter, reporting another period of improved results while driving revenue and operating cash flow growth in line with analysts' expectations.

Comcast Cable Communications president Neil Smit declared war on basic video losses in the first quarter, when the nation's largest cable operator reported fewer losses than the year before (39,000 vs. 82,000 in 2010). The Philadelphia-based MSO appears to be winning the battle, reporting a loss of 238,000 basic video customers in the period, down from a loss of 265,000 video customers in the prior year. The results were shy of analysts' consensus estimates, which predicted losses would be around 173,000 during the seasonally weak period when customers traditionally disconnect service as they move to summer residences.

In a conference call with analysts, Comcast Cable president Neil Smit said the subscriber performance was driven mainly by improvements in customer retention, which has been aided by gains in customer service. Smit added that repeat service calls improved by 15% in the period and repair phone calls were better by 9%. The goal is to reduce service related truck rolls by 2 million and service related phone calls by 10 million by the end of the year compared to 2009, he said.

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