Comcast Likely to Outperform in Q1

Salomon Smith Barney Inc. cable analyst Niraj Gupta reiterated his "outperform" rating on Comcast Corp., as he expects the Philadelphia-based MSO to turn in a strong first quarter. In a report, Gupta estimated that Comcast should easily hit its 2003 cash-flow target of between $6.2 billion and $6.3 billion — his estimate is for $6.4 billion. Gupta also predicted the MSO generated at least $1.4 billion of cash flow in the first quarter, an 18 percent improvement over the same period last year. Gupta wrote that expected basic-subscriber gains and increased profitability from repackaging former AT&T Broadband digital service should drive that growth.