Comcast's Roberts Tries to Calm Investors

Says expected Q3 video losses don’t reflect true momentum of company

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts tried to ease investor fears at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference Tuesday, telling an industry audience that despite expected video losses in the soon-to-be closed third quarter, the company is performing well financially and operationally.

Comcast stock took a hit Sept. 7 after executive vice president XFinity Services Matt Strauss said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment conference in Los Angeles that the nation’s largest cable operator would lose between 100,000 and 150,000 video customers in Q3 as a result of competitive issues and damage from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Strauss had said that despite the subscriber losses, Comcast was expected to meet its financial targets for the period, but that seemed to be lost on investors, who drove the stock down as much as 7% on Sept. 7. Comcast shares closed that day at $38.60 each, down 6.2%.

Comcast stock continued to fall in subsequent trading – it closed at $38.21 on Sept. 8 and $37.83 on Sept. 11. Roberts’ comments seemed to have some initial effect – the stock was up slightly in earlier trading – but was down later in the day, priced at $37.70 each at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 12.

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