Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Comcast profits up as cap spending drops

Comcast is slowly winning business from Verizon and other phone companies, says analyst Craig Moffett

Comcast profits up as cap spending drops

Update: Inquirer story here

Earlier: Comcast reports higher first-quarter profits and cash flow, "powered primarily by falling capital spending," according to Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett. Comcast says it paid $925 million for equipment last quarter, vs. $1.16 billion a year ago, as it nears completion of its all-digital networks. Moffett expects this spending will continue to drop, boosting cash flow, which he hopes will eventually make it to investors as higher dividends or share buybacks.

Meanwhile, "growth looks good," as cable slowly wins back market share from Verizon FiOS and other phone companies, Moffett adds. Comcast lost 82,000 cable video viewers during the quarter, vs. an expected 130,000. Elsewhere it gained: a net 399,000 new high-speed Internet customers, 273,000 phone customers, plus more business customers. Advertising recovered, boosting programming profits at minor-sports channel Verus and other Comcast cable networks, as the company presses its planned purchase of NBC Universal.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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Joseph N. DiStefano