Comcast Reports Flat Profits for Q3

Nov 3, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Cable giant Comcast reported flat third-quarter profits as a gain in revenue was offset by higher expenses associated with the deployment of advanced set-top boxes and telephony services.

The company reported a profit of $222 million for the quarter, compared with a profit of $220 million a year ago. Revenue rose 9 percent to $5.6 million.

Although the company’s cable unit reported a 10 percent increase in revenue to $5.3 billion, driven by additions in digital-cable and high-speed data customers, a higher-than-expected adoption rate of advanced set-top boxes and voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) services ratcheted up operating expenses for the quarter.

Operating expenses climbed 9 percent in the quarter to just over $2 billion, and are now expected to hit $3.5 billion for 2005-a higher level than the company’s original estimate of $3.2 billion for the full year.

Comcast also reported a decline in basic cable subscribers of 46,000, but executives downplayed the decline. Comcast President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke noted that many of those lost customers were paying an average of $15 a month and were more than offset by the addition of new digital and high-speed data customers, who pay an average of $40 a month.

At Comcast’s cable networks, revenue rose 15 percent on the strength of advertising gains.

The company’s overall subscriber count held flat at 21.4 million basic subscribers.