Comcast exceeds forecasts. Peacock suffers losses even while broadband expansion is slowing. A little increase in Comcast’s fourth-quarter revenue to roughly $30.55 billion was supported by stronger revenues in the internet and wireless segments. The number of broadband subscribers has been declining. 4,000 more net customers would have been gained by the company if Hurricane Ian hadn’t had an impact.
Although Peacock reached 20 million users, NBCUniversal’s profits were hurt by the streamer’s wider losses. Despite continuing weakness in broadband subscriber growth and increasing losses from its streaming service, Peacock, Comcast on Thursday announced fourth-quarter results that exceeded analyst projections.
Higher revenue from the company’s broadband and wireless operations, as well as its amusement parks division, were the main drivers of the company’s top-line growth. Here is how Comcast fared in comparison to predictions made by analysts contacted by Refinitiv:
Earnings per share: 82 cents, adjusted, vs the projected 77 cents, Revenue: $30.55 billion as opposed to the $30.32 billion anticipated.
The Philadelphia-based firm announced on Thursday that higher severance costs were mostly to blame for the over 5% fall in its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to $8 billion from the same period in 2017.
Comcast reported losing 26,000 broadband subscribers in total over the time period, primarily as a result of Hurricane Ian’s service disruptions in Florida and South Carolina in September. Comcast claimed it would have gained 4,000 customers even without the hurricane’s effects.
Even still, the figure showed a slowdown in cable broadband subscriber growth, especially when compared to the early Covid pandemic days. Due to increased competition from telecom and cellular carriers, the slowdown in subscriber growth has been negatively affecting cable firms like Comcast and Charter Communications’ core businesses in recent quarters.
The corporations have also recently claimed that a downturn in the U.S. housing market as well as a decline in the number of people switching houses is to blame for the lack of new clients. Nevertheless, Comcast’s broadband subscriber count has stayed steady, and the segment’s income climbed by about 6% during the quarter, partly as a result of pricing increases.
With 365,000 net additions in the quarter, Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile continued to expand, reaching its total number of wireless subscribers surpassed 5.3 million. Since entering the market in recent years, cable companies have seen a constant rise in the number of mobile customers. During the quarter, the cable TV industry lost 440,000 subscribers as customers continued to ditch their traditional TV bundles in favor of streaming options.
In the fourth quarter, NBCUniversal’s income increased by around 6% to about $9.9 billion, helped by earnings from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which was broadcast on Peacock and its Spanish-language Telemundo TV network.
The Peacock losses and higher severance costs caused NBCUniversal’s business, which consists of film, television, streaming, and theme parks, to lose more than 36% of its adjusted earnings to $817 million. In relation to Peacock, NBCUniversal reported an adjusted loss of $978 million as opposed to a loss of $559 million during the same period in 2017.
In its highest quarterly performance since its 2020 launch, the company reported on Thursday that Peacock added 5 million net paying customers over the fourth quarter. Peacock reached 20 million paying customers and had an almost threefold increase in sales to $2.1 billion. With revenue for the segment rising 12% to $2.1 billion during the fourth quarter due to improved attendance and customer spending at locations in the U.S. and Japan, the theme parks sector continued to be a strength for NBCUniversal.