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Comcast Suffers Q3 Profit Decline

Oct 27, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Cable titan Comcast on Wednesday reported a steep decline in third-quarter profit.

The Philadelphia-based company, which boasts 21.5 million subscribers, reported a third-quarter profit of $220 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with nearly $3.2 billion, or $1.41 a share, a year ago. The 2003 profit reflected a $3.3 billion one-time gain related to Comcast’s sale in July 2003 of its 57 percent stake in QVC to John Malone’s Liberty Media.

Overall revenue climbed 12 percent to $5.1 billion, driven by an 11 percent increase in revenue at the company’s core cable business.

The most recent quarter’s results reflected strength in high-speed data growth, which beat analysts’ projections as the company booked 549,100 new customers to hit 6.5 million subscribers. The company also added 341,000 new digital-cable subscribers to reach 8.4 million at the end of the third quarter. Basic subscriber growth was around 8,500, but would have been higher had Comcast not lost 10,000 subscribers due to the hurricanes in Florida.

In addition to the sub growth, Comcast said it had higher demand for its advanced services, including its digital video recorder devices, video-on-demand and high-definition television.

Comcast’s advertising business booked a 15.5 percent increase in revenue to $319 million, reflecting 10 percent growth in local advertising and 20 percent growth in regional and national advertising.

Meanwhile, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said his company is “taking a look” at the assets of bankrupt cable operator Adelphia Communications.