Comcast's 1Q Earnings Beat Estimates

Industries Reuters

Comcast's quarterly profit topped estimates as the No. 1 U.S. cable operator added video subscribers and hits such as "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Get Out" boosted movie revenue, it said on Thursday.

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Net income attributable to the company rose 20.2 percent to $2.57 billion, or 53 cents a share, in the first quarter.

Revenue jumped 8.9 percent to $20.46 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of 44 cents per share on revenue of $20.12 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares were up 4.9 percent to $40.70 in premarket trading.

Comcast's cable television business is under pressure as younger viewers shun cable bundles in favor of cheaper streaming options such as Netflix Inc.

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The company has been investing in improving customer service and is offering the X1 set-top platform for a variety of content. Last year, Comcast made Netflix available through X1 and announced a similar deal with Alphabet Inc's YouTube in February.

The company also plans to offer a wireless service later this year in the hopes of increasing customer loyalty. The service, called Xfinity Mobile, will launch on Verizon Communications Inc's airwaves as part of a 2011 agreement between the companies.

Revenue in Comcast's cable business rose 5.8 percent as the company added 42,000 video subscribers and 429,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter.

Sales in its NBCUniversal unit were up 14.7 percent, helped by a 43.2 percent increase in filmed entertainment revenue. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)