NBC, Cable Revenue Boost Comcast's 2Q Profit

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) said Wednesday its profit in the second quarter, the first period to include the cable giant’s full ownership of NBC Universal, climbed 29% amid growth at the NBC unit and higher cable prices.

Shares were up 3.25% at $44.10 in pre-market trading. As of Tuesday’s close, the stock is up about 14.3% so far this year.

The Philadelphia-based company reported net income of $1.7 billion, or 65 cents a share, up from $1.35 billion, or 50 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The results beat Wall Street expectations for per-share earnings of 63 cents.

Revenue jumped 7% to $16.3 billion, just ahead of forecasts for $16.01 billion.

Cable operators like Comcast have attempted to fend off tough competition from satellite TV and phone companies by adding more broadband customers and raising rates, in addition to increasing sales of premium services like digital video recorders.

Despite the loss of 159,000 video subscribers during the period, video revenue grew 2.7% to $5.2 billion.

The company added broadband and voice customers at a higher rate in the second quarter, thanks in part to promotions for its “triple play” bundled packages. Broadband revenue was $2.6 billion, an 8% gain, and business services revenue was up 26% to $788 million.

Cable revenue, the largest top-line contributor for Comcast, was up 5.8% to $10.47 billion.

Earlier this year, Comcast completed its purchase of the remaining 49% stake in NBC Universal from General Electric (NYSE:GE) for $16.7 billion. In the latest period, NBC Universal’s operating cash flow was up 21% to $1.2 billion on growth in cable networks and broadcast television.

The broadcast TV segment, which includes the flagship NBC network, recorded 13% growth in advertising revenue as primetime ratings increased.

Total NBC Universal revenue rose 8.9% to $6 billion. The theme parks division was one weak spot in the second quarter, with operating cash flow dropping 1.6%.