Comcast Q1 Profits Surge 80 Percent

Apr 26, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Comcast reported sharply higher profits in the first quarter as the nation’s largest cable operator continued to add customers at a record rate.

Net income rose 80 percent to $837 million, or 26 cents a share, boosted by a one-time gain of $500 million from the dissolution of Comcast’s partnership with Time Warner on systems in Texas and Kansas City.

Revenue rose 32 percent to $7.4 billion.

Comcast’s cable operations increased revenue by 12 percent to almost $7 billion and operating cash flow rose to $2.8 billion. It added 644,000 new digital cable subscribers, 564,000 high-speed Internet subscribers and 571,000 telephone customers.

Ad revenue decreased 3 percent to $313 million in the quarter.

Revenues for Comcast’s programming segment—which includes the E!, Style, Golf Channel, Versus, G4 and AZN channels—was up 27 percent to $302 million. Cash flow rose 30 percent to $65 million.

“We are off to a fabulous start to the year and see increasing momentum as we move ahead,” Brian Robert, chairman and CEO said in a statement Thursday.

The company also reaffirmed its guidance that revenue would grow at least 11 percent during 2007 and that operation cash flow would grow 13 percent.

“The business is, indeed, ‘On Fire,'” said Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford Bernstein.

Mr. Moffett noted that Comcast’s shares have been suffering because of a high level of planned capital spending. “But if Q4’s results were all about the spending, today’s Q1 results were all about the return,” he said.

Comcast shares were down 59 cents to $27.50 in last morning trading.