Comcast on Thursday reported results for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year that beat analysts’ estimates in both the upper and lower ranges.
Comcast also reported record growth in high-speed Internet service customers and an additional 11 million subscribers to its new streaming service Peacock in the fourth quarter.
The share gained more than 4.7% in extended trading.
Here are the key numbers:
- Earnings per share: 56 cents adj. According to a refinitive poll of analysts, 48 cents are expected.
- Revenue: According to Refinitiv, $ 27.71 billion is expected versus $ 26.78 billion.
- High-speed internet customers: According to FactSet, 538,000 are expected versus 490,000 net additions
The company announced that Peacock, led by NBCUniversal, now has 33 million filings in the U.S., up from 22 million last quarter. The company said its exclusive agreement to stream wrestling matches from the WWE network in the US, announced earlier this week, should encourage enrollment and engagement alongside the recent launch of “The Office” on the platform .
Comcast also increased its quarterly dividend from 23 cents to 25 cents per share. Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO, said in the earnings report that the company is expected to begin repurchasing shares in the course of 2021 as well.
The company reported its best fourth quarter earnings in any customer relationship, adding 455,000 customers to reach 33.1 million. 538,000 high-speed Internet customers were added.
Comcast said the Europe-based Sky division continued to add customers, up from 244,000 to 23.9 million in the fourth quarter. This brought its customer relationships and total Sky sales in Europe back to pre-Covid 2019 levels, the company said.
Comcast’s theme park division, which has suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic, has continued to be affected by continued closings and capacity reductions. Theme park revenues decreased nearly 63% to $ 579 million. The company said that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization represented a loss of $ 15 million that included the cost of Universal Beijing, which was not yet opened.
“Without these costs and better participation in the parks in Orlando and Osaka, even when Hollywood is closed, the theme parks have hit breakeven,” the company said in its report.
The company’s film entertainment division was also hit by the pandemic, which restricted cinema operations and suspended some film productions. The segment’s revenue decreased 8.3% to $ 1.4 billion. The company said this was partly offset by increased revenue from content licensing. Adjusted EBITA increased more than 65% to $ 151 million.
The company said the introduction of vaccines brings optimism that affected businesses will grow again.
Here’s how Comcast’s divisions performed for the quarter:
- Cable communications achieved sales of $ 15.7 billion, up 6.3 percent.
- Cable networks achieved sales of $ 2.7 billion, a decrease of 6.4%.
- Broadcast television had sales of $ 2.8 billion, down 12%.
- The filmed entertainment generated total revenue of $ 1.4 billion, down 8.3%.
- Theme parks achieved revenue of $ 579 million, a decrease of 63%.
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Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.
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