Comcast beats estimates, gains video subscribers

Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:21pm EDT
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By Malathi Nayak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp reported better-than-expected results on Wednesday, reaping the rewards of its biggest first-quarter jump in pay-TV customers in nine years and as its business service, high-speed Internet and entertainment units grew.

The largest U.S. cable operator said total revenue rose 5.3 percent to $18.8 billion, beating analysts' consensus estimate of $18.64 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income attributable to Comcast grew 3.6 percent from the year-ago period to $2.13 billion, or 87 cents a share.

Profit of 84 cents per share, excluding gains from sales and acquisition-related items, surpassed analysts' consensus estimate of 79 cents.

Shares of Comcast rose 0.4 to close at $61.30.

The company is in talks to buy Hollywood studio owner DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc, known for movie franchises such as "Shrek" and "KungFu Panda," for over $3 billion, The Wall street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Executives did not comment on merger and acquisition plans during an earnings conference call.

Comcast is likely interested in DreamWorks' content library and intellectual property, MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett said in a research note.

Revenue at the NBCUniversal division, which Comcast acquired in 2011 and includes NBC, film studios and theme parks, grew 4 percent to $6.9 billion.   Continued...

A Comcast sign is shown in San Francisco, California February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith