Comcast profits jump

Third quarter revs up

NEW YORK — Comcast Corp., the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S., reported record third-quarter revenues of $1.204 billion and cash flow of $365 million.

The revenue figure represents a 23.6% jump over the $974.6 million Comcast harvested in the third quarter of 1996. The cash-flow number is 23.4% higher than the $295.8 million for the same period last year.

Results for the three months, which ended Sept. 30, include operation of the Scripps cable properties, which Comcast acquired in November 1996, and of E! Entertainment TV, which Comcast bought a 34.5% stake in eight months ago.

On June 9, Microsoft announced that it was planning to pour $1 billion into Comcast, and many analysts say that commitment became a watershed, fueling a rush on Wall Street that turned cable-operator stocks from depressed to bullish.

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