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Comcast Reports Higher Earnings in First Quarter

Comcast reported higher first-quarter earnings and its cable and NBCUniversal units posted gains.

First net income increased 14% to $3.553 billion, or 77 cents per share, up from $3.118 billion, or 66 cents a share a year ago.

Revenue rose 17.9% to $26.859 billion, reflecting Comcast’s acquisition of Sky.

Related: NBCU, Sky Combine on AdSmart Targeting Offering

Comcast's earning beat Wall Street estimates, but revenue was below expectations.

NBCUniversal’s adjusted EBIDTA increased by 2.9% to $2.337 billion despite a 12.5% decline in revenue to $8.313 billion. Revenue was down because it was being compared to last year’s total, which included $1.6 billion in incremental revenue from the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl. Excluding that revenue, NBCU posted a 5% increase.

Cable network EBITDA was up 0.7% to $1.262 billion as revenue fell 9.2% to $2.868 billion, Excluding $378 million of Olympics revenues, cable revenue was up 3.2%

Broadcast television EBITDA was down 23.7% to $387 million. Revenue was down 29.4% because of last year’s Olympics plus the Super Bowl. The Olympics brought in $770 million in revenue and the Super Bowl produced $423 million in revenue. Excluding those two big sporting events, broadcast revenue was up 7.1%.

Comcast’s cable EBITDA rose 9.8% to $5.728 billion, Revenue rose 4.2%.

Cord-cutting continued with a net loss of total video customers of 121,000 in the quarter. Video revenue was down 0.5% to $5.6 billion, while high-speed internet revenue jumped 10.1% to $4.577 billion.

Comcast said Sky’s EBITDA was down 11.3% on a pro forma basis because of new contracts for soccer rights in Italy and Germany. Pro-forma revenue was down 5%, but excluding the impact of currency changes, revenue was up 1.9%.

“Comcast is off to a terrific start in 2019, financially, operationally and strategically. In the first quarter, we delivered strong EBITDA and earnings per share growth, as well as robust free cash flow. Comcast Cable had the best quarterly EBITDA growth in over a decade, while NBCUniversal again posted favorable results,” said CEO Brian Roberts.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.