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Comcast up despite regs

Comcast Corp., the nation’s fourth-largest cable operator, increased revenues and operating cash flow for the year ended Dec. 31 in the face of cable rate freezes and regulations that reduced subscription fees by as much as 10%.

But Federal Communications Commission rate cuts of another 7% could have an adverse impact on the company this year.

Comcast said it is awaiting the release of the new regs by the FCC before determining what the damage will be.

Revenues for 1993 were $ 1.3 billion, a 49% increase over 1992. Operating cash flow improved 53% to $ 606 million. The 1993 results got a big boost from the inclusion of the cable operator’s consolidation of the Metrophone cellular properties and its 50%ownership in cable operator Storer Communications. Had their results been included in 1992 numbers, the increases in revenues and operating cash flow would have been 9.8% and 9.6%, respectively.

Despite gains in revenue and operating cash flow, Comcast reported a net loss of $ 859.2 million or $ 4.01 per share, compared with a net loss of $ 270.2 million or $ 1.34 per share in 1992.

Comcast said the losses are associated with financing costs, non-cash charges and equity in net losses of affiliates.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Comcast showed gains in operating cash flow up 28% to $ 146.1 million compared with fourth quarter 1992. Other major cable operators including Time Warner have reported declines in the same reporting period.

Fourth quarter revenues were up 29% ($ 337.5 million) compared to the same period in 1992.

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