Comcast beat Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter of 2018, crediting NBCUniversal’s FIFA World Cup on Telemundo and the box office performances of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” for much of its success.
On Thursday, Comcast reported 65 cents of Q3 earnings per share on $22.1 billion in revenue. Media analysts had forecast 61 cents of earnings on $21.8 billion in revenue, according to a Yahoo Finance poll.
NBCU revenue grew more than 8 percent versus the comparable quarter last year. Comcast’s cable-TV, voice and internet-providing arm, which is still its largest business, saw its own sales figures increase almost 3 and-a-half percent. Theme parks declined due to bad weather and natural disasters — especially in Japan.
Comcast added 288,000 customers in the 90 days ended Sept. 30. Internet additions increased 363,000, video losses were 106,000, and the company shed 35,000 phone customers.
All-told, Comcast’s revenue rose 5 percent versus Q3 2017 as NBC broadcast won another summer in TV ratings.
“This is an exciting and important time in Comcast’s history. To highlight a few of the achievements in our businesses this quarter, Comcast Cable’s EBITDA growth was the fastest in six years, and customer relationship growth accelerated, driven by the best broadband net additions for a third quarter in ten years,” Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said in a statement accompanying the financials. “At NBCUniversal, our TV businesses continued their strong performance. NBC finished the 52-week season ranked No. 1 in total viewers for the first time in 16 years and No. 1 in adults 18-49 for the fifth consecutive season, and is off to a great start in the new season. Our recently completed acquisition of Sky is transformative for our company, helping create a unique global leader in media, technology, television and broadband.”
Last month, Comcast beat out Fox-Disney in a bidding war for U.K. media giant Sky, paying $39 billion for a majority stake in the company. Days later, Fox elected to sell the remainder of its Sky holdings — worth north of $15 billion — to Comcast.
Shares of Comcast stock (CMCSA) closed Wednesday afternoon at $34.12, down $1.53 on the day.
Comcast executives will host a conference call at 8 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.