NBCU Reports Higher 3Q Profits Despite Lower Revenue

Comcast earnings rise while video customers decline
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NBCUniversal reported higher profits for parent company Comcast, led by its broadcast operations.

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Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 1.6% in the third quarter to $2.1 billion.

Revenue fell 3.5% to $8.3 billion.

Broadcast television EBITDA was up 5.1% to $338 million, despite a 9.1% drop in revenue to $2.2 billion.

Distribution and other revenue was up 5.8%. Advertising revenue was down 12.1% because of comparisons to a year ago when Telemundo broadcast the World Cup. Content licensing was down 17%.

Cable network earnings were down 0.4% to $955 million. Revenue was down 2.8% to $2.8 billion.

The company said distribution revenue was up 1.8%, despite a decline in subscribers. Advertising revenue was "consistent with the prior year,” the company said with higher rates offset by lower ratings. Content revenue declined 27.2%

Overall, Comcast reported higher profits and revenue.

Net income rose 11.5% to $3.2 billion, or 70 cents a share, from $2.9 billion or 62 cents a share.

Revenue rose 21.2% to $26.8 billion

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“We delivered excellent results in the third quarter, surpassing 55 million customer relationships and generating strong pro forma growth in adjusted EBITDA and double-digit growth in adjusted EPS," said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. "We continued our long track record of highly-profitable growth, while also investing in our businesses to further strengthen our leading competitive position. Together, with our leading scale in high-value customer relationships and premium content, we are strategically positioned to thrive in our evolving global industry."

At Comcast’s cable operations, EBIDTA increased 6/7% to $5.8 billion as revenues rose 4% to $14.5 billion.

The company added 288,000 residential customer relationships and 21,000 business relationships. Residential video customers fell by 222,000 to $20.4 million. It added 359,000 residential high speed video customers to 26 million.

Revenue from video fell 0.9% to $5.5 billion. Revenue from high-speed internet rose 9.3% to $4.7 billion.

Ad revenue fell 1.9% to $603 million.