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Q3-2015: Comcast Cable revenue up 6.3%, loses 48K video subs; NBCU shines

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BENGALURU: Comcast Corporation’s (Comcast) Cable Communications reported revenue growth of 6.3 per cent at $11,740 million in the quarter ended 30 September, 2015 (Q3-2015, current quarter) as compared to the $11,041 million in the corresponding year ago quarter. The segment’s revenue in the current quarter was almost flat (increased by 0.09 per cent) as compared to $11,729 million reported for the immediate trailing quarter.

Note: 100,00,000 = 100 lakh = 10 million = 1 crore

Subscription numbers have been mentioned in lakhs and revenue and other financial numbers in millions of US dollars.

Operating cash flow of Comcast’s Cable Communications in Q3-2015 improved 6.4 per cent to $4748 million (40.4 per cent margin) as compared to the $4,464 million (40.4 per cent margin) in Q3-2014.

In terms of decline in video customers, Comcast’s Cable Communication reported the best quarter among the last nine quarters. The company lost only 48,000 video customers in Q3-2015 as compared to the decline of 69,000 in Q2-2015.

Comcast NBCUniversal segment reported a 20.8 per cent growth in revenue at $7,151 million in the current quarter as compared to the $5,921 million in Q3-2014. Operating cash flow of the segment in Q3-2015 improved 17 per cent to $1,657 million as compared to the $1,416 million in Q3-2014.

Overall, Comcast reported a 11.2 per cent growth in consolidated revenue (excluding Olympics and Super Bowl) at $18,669 million as compared to the $16,791 million in the corresponding year ago quarter. Operating Income in Q3-2015 increased 6.9 per cent to $4001 million as compared to the $3745 million in Q3-2014, while Free Cash Flow increased 6.8 per cent to $2663 million as compared to $2494 million in Q3-2014. Earnings per share in the current quarter however declined 19.2 per cent to $0.80 as compared to $0.99 in Q3-2014.

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L Roberts said, ”I’m pleased to report that our businesses generated outstanding revenue and operating cash flow growth for the third quarter of 2015. At Cable Communications, overall customer relationships increased 156,000, a 90 per cent improvement compared to last year, video subscriber results were the best for a third quarter in nine years, high-speed Internet subscriber results were the best for a third quarter in six years, and churn across all product categories continues to improve. NBCUniversal also delivered terrific results, including another record-breaking box office quarter driven by Minions and Jurassic World, the highest summer attendance ever at our theme parks, and maintaining the #1 broadcast network ranking for five summers in a row. These outstanding results from our unique portfolio of complementary businesses underscore our confidence that we are well positioned to compete, continue our strong performance and drive shareholder value.”

Cable Communications numbers

Six sub-segments contribute to Comcast’s Cable Communications – Video; High Speed Internet; Voice; Business Services; Advertising; and ‘Other.’

Growth in revenue was driven by increases of 10.2 per cent in high-speed Internet revenue, 19.5 per cent in business services and 3.3 per cent in video. The company says that the increase in Cable revenue reflects increased customer relationships, customers receiving higher levels of service and customers taking additional services, as well as rate adjustments.

Customer relationships

Overall, Cable Communications customer relationships in Q3-2015 increased to 274.21 lakh as compared to 268.57 lakh in Q3-2014. During Q3-2015, the segment saw net addition of 156,000 customer relationships as compared to the net addition of 82,000 in the corresponding year ago quarter.

Single, double and triple play customers

While the number of single product customers in the current quarter was lower at 83.67 lakh, it grew by 24,000, as compared to the 84.44 lakh in Q3-2014, which saw a decline of 66,000. Double Product customers were higher at 90.66 lakh in Q3-2015 as compared to 86.50 lakh in Q3-2014. In Q3-2015, the number of double product customers increased by 130,000 as compared to the increase of 76,000 in Q3-2014. Triple Product customers in Q3-2015 increased to 99.88 lakh as compared to 97.63 lakh in the corresponding year ago quarter. Q3-2015 saw the number of triple product customers’ increase by a mere 1,000 as compared to the increase of 72,000 n Q3-2014.

Video

Revenue from Video improved 3.3 per cent to $5,348 million in Q3-2015 as compared to the $5,179 million in Q3-2014. For the current quarter, the company reported a net loss of 48,000 customers, while its customer base declined by 118,000 to 222.58 lakhs as compared to the 223.76 lakh customers in Q3-2014.

High Speed Internet

High Speed Internet revenue in the current quarter increased 10.2 per cent to $3,129 million as compared to the $2,840 million in Q3-2014.

The company added 320,000 high speed internet customers in Q3-2015 and reported a customer base of 228.68 lakh. In Q3-2014, Cable Communications had added 315,000 customers and reported a high spend internet customer base of 215.86 lakh.

Voice

Despite a higher customer base, Voice revenue in Q3-2015 declined 1.4 per cent to $900 million as compared to the $913 million in the corresponding year ago quarter.

Voice customer base in Q3-2015 increased to 113.36 lakh as compared to the 110.70 lakh in the corresponding quarter of last year. In Q3-2015, Cable Communications added only 17,000 customers as compared to the 68,000 in Q3-2014.

Business Services revenue in Q3-2015 increased 19.2 per cent to $1,208 million as compared to the $1,011 million in Q3-2014.

Advertising revenue in the current quarter was almost flat (declined 0.2 per cent) to $593 million as compared to $596 million in the corresponding year ago quarter.

Other’ revenue increased 11.2 per cent to $562 million in Q3-2015 as compared to the $ 502 in Q3-2014.

NBCUniversal

As mentioned above, NBCUniversal division revenue increased 20.8 per cent YoY in the current quarter, while Operating Cash Flow increased 17 per cent driven by strong results at Filmed Entertainment and Theme Parks.

Four sub-segments add to NBCUniversal’s revenue – Cable Networks; Broadcast Television; Filmed Entertainment; and Theme Parks.

Cable Networks reported seven per cent growth in operating revenue at $2,412 million in Q3-2015 as compared to the $2,255 million in the corresponding year ago quarter, driven by an 8.6 per cent increase in distribution revenue and a two per cent increase in advertising revenue, partially reflecting the introduction of NASCAR on Comcast’s sports network, NBCSN, as well as a 17.6 per cent increase in content licensing and other revenue. Operating cash flow decreased 3.9 per cent to $835 million compared to $868 million in Q3-2014, reflecting higher revenue, more than offset by increased sports programming costs, driven by the impact of NASCAR., informs the company.

Broadcast Television revenue in the current quarter increased 11.3 per cent in Q3-2015 at $1,971 million as compared to the $1,770 million in Q3-2014 reflecting a 33.5 per cent increase in content licensing revenue, higher retransmission consent fees, and a 2.8 per cent increase in advertising revenue. Operating cash flow increased 6.1 per cent to $150 million compared to $142 million in Q3-2014, reflecting higher revenue, partially offset by an increase in programming and production costs associated with the timing of content provided under NBCUniversal’s licensing agreements and studio production costs.

Filmed Entertainment revenue increased 64 per cent to $1,946 million in Q3-2015  as compared to the $1,186 million in the corresponding year ago quarter driven by higher theatrical revenue from the record performances of Minions andJurassic World, continuing on the earlier success of Furious 7. Operating cash flow increased $225 million to $376 million compared to $151 million in Q3- 2014, reflecting higher revenue, partially offset by an increase in the amortisation of film costs and higher advertising, marketing and promotion expense due to a larger film slate.

Theme Parks revenue increased 14.1 per cent to $876 million as compared to the $786 million in the corresponding year ago quarter reflecting higher guest attendance and per capita spending, driven by the continued success of Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, as well as Fast and Furious: Supercharged at the Hollywood park. Q3-2015 operating cash flow increased 14.1 per cent to $458 million compared to $402 million in the same period last year, reflecting higher revenue, partially offset by an increase in operating costs to support new attractions and $18 million of transaction-related costs associated with the development of a theme park in China.

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