Comcast revenue rises as subscriptions dip

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Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts

Revenue at Comcast Corp. rose a healthy 8 percent in the third quarter even though the cable giant shed 275,000 cable-TV subscribers, as it can't seem to stanch the drain of customers.

Other customer additions - high-speed Internet and phone - fell below year-ago rates, but the company's strategy of diversifying its revenue and boosting services to individual customers seems to be working.

Third-quarter revenue rose to $9.5 billion from $8.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. Net income was $867 million in the third quarter compared with $944 million in the comparable period a year ago.

Comcast noted that it spent $66 million in the third quarter on transaction costs associated with its proposed deal to purchase a controlling interest in entertainment giant NBC Universal Inc. The company also realized tax benefits in the year-ago quarter.

"Our results mark the third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth in revenue and operating cash flow, driven by overall customer growth, a robust advertising market and continued strength in business services," Brian L. Roberts, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "As we near completion of our all-digital and DOCSIS 3.0 deployments, we are increasing the pace of innovation and new product introductions to our customers.

"We believe this focus on consistently improving the customer experience and on driving profitable growth will further strengthen our competitive position and build long-term value for our shareholders."

Comcast has about 23 million cable-TV subscribers nationwide.

Company shares were trading at $20.14, up 50 cents, late this morning.

 


Contact Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or bob.Fernandez@phillynews.com.