Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) stock rose over 3% on 25th April, 2019 (as of 12:42 pm GMT-4; Source: Google finance). CMCSA’s net profit rose 14% in the first quarter, boosted by its high-speed internet business, a spate of successful movies and the recent acquisition of European pay-television operator Sky PLC. Comcast has added 375,000 internet consumers in the first quarter, which led to a 10% rise in high-speed internet revenue. The company also posted strong growth at its wireless business, Xfinity Mobile, which was launched less than two years ago. The service reached a total of 1.4 million subscribers, compared with 577,000 last year.
However, Comcast’s traditional pay-TV business again lost subscribers, as people continue to cut the cord in favor of streaming services like Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video and Netflix.com Inc. During the first quarter, Comcast lost 121,000 subscribers, compared with a loss of 96,000 a year earlier. It was the company’s eighth consecutive quarter of decline.
Moreover, the revenue at Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit fell 12.5% to $8.31 billion. The unit’s cable networks and broadcast-television divisions suffered from the comparison with the year-earlier period, during which NBC had the rights to the Super Bowl and 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Earlier this year, NBCUniversal said it plans to launch an ad-supported streaming-video service in 2020, which will be free for pay-TV subscribers. As of January, the company had about 52 million customers that subscribe to Comcast Cable and Sky. Users without cable TV will be able to purchase it for a fee.
Meanwhile, separate from the NBC streaming platform, in March Comcast launched the $5-a-month service “Xfinity Flex” for its internet-only customers, which gives access to ad-supported streaming video channels like YouTube and Cheddar. Customers are given a device, similar to Amazon’s Fire Stick or Roku, that serves as a gateway to such streaming apps. Comcast has said the new device is meant to help customers manage connected devices in their home.
CMCSA in the first quarter of FY 19 has reported the adjusted earnings per share of 76 cents, beating the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share of 66 cents, as per Zacks Investment Research. The company had reported the adjusted revenue growth of 17.9 percent to $26.86 billion in the first quarter of FY 19, missing the analysts’ estimates for revenue of $27.31 billion.