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Comcast Beats Analyst Q4 Estimates

With the attention focused on its NBC Universal programming joint venture for more than a year, Comcast reported fourth-quarter and year-end results Wednesday that reminded investors that it is still the dominant cable distribution force in the country, with strong growth across all metrics.

Comcast beat analysts' estimates on practically every front - basic video losses at 135,000 were far below consensus estimates of 206,000 losses, revenue and cash flow growth at 7.2% and 9% respectively solidly beat expectations. As a result the MSO hiked its annual dividend payout 19% to 45 cents per share and boosted its share repurchase authorization to $2.1 billion by the end of 2011.

"We have strong financial and operational and financial momentum; we're starting to execute the many unique opportunities that are available to Comcast, now that NBC Universal is now a part of our company," Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said on a conference call with analysts Wednesday.

Comcast closed the NBCU transaction on Jan. 28.

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