Comcast Earnings Up as NBCU Deal Chatter Gets Louder

Cable operator posts 22.5% gain in net earnings; no word yet on acquisition.

Last Updated: November 4, 2009 @ 6:31 AM

Against the backdrop of executives hammering out its stake in NBC Universal, Comcast said on Wednesday that its third-quarter net revenue increased 22.5 percent.

Overall revenues for the Philadelphia-based cable operator increased about 3 percent to $8.36 billion during the quarter. Year-to-date, Comcast’s revenues are up 4.3 percent to $26.6 billion.

Brian Roberts, Comcast’s chairman and CEO, said the company’s “strength and resilience” and a “continued emphasis on expenses” contributed to the increase. He said the company’s investments in its “Wideband” and “All-Digital” services will “strengthen our competitive position now and in the future.”

Comcast said promotions helped it sell more phone and video subscriptions.

Comcast’s video, high-speed internet and voice customers totaled 46.8 million, an increase of 3.4 percent compared with the third quarter of 2008.

The company did not mention the NBCU deal in its earnings release.

"While we cannot comment on rumors," Roberts said during a conference call with investors, "we will continue to have a disciplined approach to evaluating these opportunities."

Under the reported terms of the deal, first reported by TheWrap, Comcast would get a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal.

A formal announcement could come as early as next week. Executives from both companies are said to be in the process of due diligence.