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Comcast beats revenue estimates amid streaming growth, broadband decline

NEW YORK : Comcast on Thursday posted quarterly revenue that topped Wall Street estimates, bolstered by strong performance in streaming and theme parks, but also reported a surprise loss in broadband customers.

Revenue for the media giant’s third quarter rose 0.9 per cent to $30.12 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $29.68 billion, according to LSEG data.

Comcast lost 18,000 broadband customers in the quarter, as it faces more competition from wireless carriers such as Verizon and T-Mobile, which offer broadband. FactSet had estimated a gain of 3,600 customers.

In its third set of results under a new reporting structure that includes NBCUniversal in the content and experiences segment, Comcast reported a .8 per cent increase in revenue in the unit to $10.56 billion in the quarter.

Advertising revenue in content and experiences fell 8.4 per cent from the same quarter the previous year.

Revenue at the company’s Peacock streaming service rose 64 per cent from a year earlier. Paid subscribers increased by 4 million in the third quarter, to 28 million, from the 24 million reported in the previous quarter. That growth was driven partly by the addition of Comcast subscribers who had been getting Peacock for free, and converted to paid subscribers.

Adjusted losses from Peacock narrowed in the quarter, to $565 million, due partly to price hikes.

Theme parks revenue climbed 17.2 per cent, thanks to pent-up demand following the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced park closures.

Despite the box office success of “Oppenheimer,” studios revenue fell by 23.6 per cent in the quarter from the same quarter a year ago, which included the hits “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”

Excluding items, the company earned $1.08 per share.

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