Comcast Corp. reported better-than-expected results on Thursday, citing stronger growth in its digital cable and high-speed Internet services.
Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator, posted earnings of 732 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with $837 million or 26 cents a share in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding items, Comcast said it had an adjusted profit of 19 cents a share. Revenue grew by 14 percent from year-ago levels to $8.39 billion.
Analysts expected Comcast to earn 19 cents a share on revenue of $8.17 billion, according Thomson Financial. The cable operator also reaffirmed its full-year guidance for consolidated revenue and operating cash flow growth of 8 percent to 10 percent.
Shares of Comcast closed up $1.76 or 8.6 percent to $22.31.
Our results for the first quarter mark a solid start to 2008, said CEO Brian Roberts in a release. We are confident that our outlook for 2008 is achievable and we are on track to deliver on our goal of consistent and profitable growth that builds long term shareholder value.
Comcast's Internet and phone revenue rose 12 percent and 65 percent respectively, as the company bundled those services with its cable offerings in a bid to attract more customers.
The company also launched a video-on-demand service in January that will offer high-definition content inventory of more than 1,000 TV show and movie choices a month by the end of the year. The on-demand service boosted its cable-based sales by 5 percent, despite a subscription base that decreased slightly.
Subscription levels exceeded expectations across virtually every product line, wrote Bear Stearns analyst Spencer Wang in a note to clients today.
High-speed data net additions were particularly strong, he added.