Earnings: Comcast’s Triple Play Pushes Profit Up 28 Percent For Q2;

A strong quarter for Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) by most measures, with revenues up 31 percent to $7.7 billion from $5.9 billion the previous year. Profits rose 28 percent to $588 million, compared with $460 million in the same quarter last year. The company broke the 3 million mark for digital voice subs and added a record number of digital cable subs. Comcast, the largest U.S. with 38 million-plus video subs, disappointed analysts, though, with a larger-than-expected dip in basic cable subs and fewer-then-expected high-speed additions.
Comcast Interactive Media: CIM acquisitions led the corporate/other revenue category to $48 million from $37 million in 2Q06.
Acquisitions: Q2 acquisition Fandango and ownership stakes in two regional sports networks (Bay Area, New England) for a combined investment of approximately $760 million. At the time, the price for Fandango was estimated at a little under $200 million. The RSN deal was valued at $570 million so $190 million or so for Fandango.
FiOS: CEO Brian Roberts told analysts he thought Comcast is “competing well” with Verizon’s FiOS in small towns: “… We added 670,000 telephone customers during the quarter. If you assume any kind of normal loss to Verizon and AT&T on the video side, that is many, many times what we have been impacted on the video side. We would anticipate that ratio continuing for quarters to come in the future. … You can artificially create a triple play bundle by taking DirecTV or EchoStar and having an RBOC sell their two landline products with satellite, but the only company in 95 percent or our footprint that can do all three over the same platform with the same installation group, with the same integrated billing and everything else is us.”
Programming: The programming division brought in $334 million, up 22 percent over last year, on “higher viewership, higher advertising and increased distribution revenue.”
Cable transition: 59 percent of Comcast’s video subs have moved to digital, up from 48 percent a year ago.
HSD: Revenue from the segment rose 20 percent to $1.6 billion on an 18 percent increase in the number of subs. About 38 percent percent of the high-speed data additions come from DSL.
Transformed company: To put Comcast’s growth in perspective, longtime CFO John Alchin hosted his last earnings call Thursday; when he started in 1990, nearly 70 calls ago, the company had $657 million in revenue, about $270 million in operating cash flow, and 2.4 million subscribers.
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