Comcast Corp. said net income in its third quarter fell 23% due to a $724 million tax benefit in the year-earlier period, even as filmed entertainment boosted results in its NBCUniversal subsidiary and the number of video customers leaving its cable operations narrowed.
Profit in the quarter fell to nearly $2 billion, or 80 cents per share, compared with almost $2.6 billion, or 99 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding one-time items, the company reported net income of 73 cents per share in the year-earlier period.
Revenue in the quarter rose 11.2% to nearly $18.7 billion as both the company’s cable and NBCU operations showed healthy results.
At the company’s cable operations, revenue rose 6.3% to $11.7 billion, owing largely to customers picking up additional services with more costs, as well as rate adjustments. Comcast said it notched a 10.2% increase in revenue from high-speed Internet subscriptions, a 19.5% increase in revenue from business services and a 3.3% increase in video revenue. In the year-earlier period, Comcast generated $11 billion in revenue from its cable operations. The company also said it narrowed the losses of video customers during the period, losing 48,000 compared with 81,000 in the year-earlier quarter.
At NBCUniversal, revenue increased 20.8% to $7.2 billion, compared to $5.9 billion in the year-earlier period.
Cable networks, the most significant financial contributor at the company’s NBCU operations, rose 7% to $2.4 billion owing in part to an increase in ad revenue due to the start of Nascar sports telecasts on the company’s NBCSN cable outlet. Investment in sports programming, however, crimped operating cash flow.
The company’s broadcast-TV operations saw revenue rise 11.3% to $2 billion, owing to increases in revenue from content licensing, advertising and retransmission consent.
Revenue from filmed entertainment rose 64% to $1.9 billion, owing in part to higher revenue spurred by the releases of “Jurassic World” and “Minions.”