Comcast 1Q Net Rises 30% With Gains From Sochi Olympics

Brian Roberts Comcast
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Comcast Corp., the Philadelphia cable and media giant working to convince regulators of its suitability to buy Time Warner Cable, said Tuesday its first quarter net income soared 30%, largely from gains made by its NBCUniversal broadcasts of the Sochi Winter

The company said profit in the first quarter came to $1.87 billion, or 71 cents a share, compared with $1.44 billion, or 54 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding gains related to acquisitions and sales, adjusted per-share net income rose to 68 cents from 51 cents.

Revenue rose 14% to $17.41 billion, Comcast said, compared with $15.3 billion a year earlier. Without the Winter Olympics, revenue rose 6.5% to $16.3 billion.

Comcast said revenue at NBCUniversal rose 28.8% to $6.9 billion, compared to $5.3 billion in the first quarter of 2013, driven by 2014 Sochi Olympics revenue of $1.1 billion that went to its broadcast and cable outlets. Excluding the Olympics, NBCUniversal revenue increased 8.1%.

Revenue at the company’s cable distribution operations rose 5.3% to $10.8 billion, compared to $10.2 billion in the first quarter of 2013. Comcast said the results were driven by increases of 9.0% in high-speed Internet and 23.9% in business services, as well as customers getting higher levels of service and increases in rates.

In a small sign of increasing strength, Comcast said it had added 24,000 video customers during the period, the second consecutive quarter it had been able to notch new video customers after many periods of straight losses.