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Comcast’s Q2 Net Income Soars Nearly 15% On Sale of Broadband Services

Comcast said second-quarter net income rose about 15% as more of its cable customers opted to take a higher degree of service to get  high-speed connections to the Internet as well as other business-related products. The boost to the company’s bottom line comes despite a small reduction in video customers after two quarters of gains and some decreases in performance at the film operations of its NBCUniversal unit.

Net income rose to $1.99 billion, or 76 cents per share. Excluding a gain on the sale of a stake in a maker of set-top boxes, among other one-time items, Comcast reported adjusted earnings of 75 cents per share.

Comcast said revenue for the second quarter increased 3.5% to $16.8 billion.

At the company’s cable operations, revenue  rose  5.4% to $11 billion, compared with $10.5 billion in the year-earlier period. Comcast said the gains were driven by an increase of 9.7% in high-speed Internet customers and of 22.4% in business services. After notching gains in the number of its video customers for the past two quarters. Comcast said it lost 144,000 video customers in the quarter, compared with a loss of 162,000 in the year-earlier period.

At NBCUniversal, revenue rose 0.3% to $6 billion as growth in broadcast and cable TV and theme parks was offset by lower theatrical revenue.

Revenue at the unit’s broadcast operations increased 4.9% to $1.8 billion, compared to $1.7 billion in the year-earlier quarter. The company cited  higher retransmission consent fees, as well as content licensing agreements as drivers, but noted those trends were partially offset by a 1.7% decrease in advertising revenue due to fewer hours of “The Voice a year earlier.

Revenue at the company’s cable networks rose 2.6% to $2.5 billion, compared with  $2.4 billion in the year-earlier period, reflecting a 4.2% increase in distribution revenue and a 14.3% increase in content licensing and other revenue, partially offset by a 2.2% decline in advertising revenue.

Revenue from NBCU’s film operations fell 15.3% to $1.2 billion, compared with $1.4 billion in the year-earlier period, reflecting lower theatrical revenue from fewer releases in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. Those trends were partially offset by higher content licensing revenue, as well as higher home entertainment revenue from the strong performances of “Ride Along” and “Lone Survivor,” Comcast said.

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