Comcast loses cable users, but internet subscribers are rising

Comcast continues to lose its US cable customers, but racked up several Internet subscribers and received an increase in revenues from Sky, the major effort on European TV.

The Philadelphia firm said Wednesday it lost 29,000 US cable customers in the fourth quarter, but added 351,000 internet subscribers. It also achieved customers in its new mobile phone plan business.

The company is facing an increasing number of people who cut the cable bundles to save money. A number of companies have joined Netflix in providing cheaper streaming services.

Comcast also wants to compete there. It launches a streaming service next year and joins the crowded field competing for consumer attention.

Pennsylvania's largest employers: See where Comcast ranks in Allegheny County and statewide .

It is also seeking growth abroad. The Sky deal, completed in October after a dramatic war with US rival US entertainment companies Walt Disney Co. and 21[ads1]st Century Fox, brings to Comcast TV, home internet and cell phone customers in Europe. In this unit, revenues had increased 2.4 percent to $ 5 billion, when results were adjusted to make it as if Comcast had owned it for the full year's fourth quarter and the year before. Without the effect of currency fluctuations, revenues had increased by 5.6 per cent.

On Wednesday, Comcast said net revenue fell 83 percent to $ 2.51 billion, or 55 cents per share. A large tax advantage in 2017 from changes in the tax code weighed on the profit for the year.

Excluding tax changes, adjusted earnings per share were 64 cents. Analysts asked by FactSet expected 62 cents per share.

Overall, revenues increased 26 percent to $ 27.85 billion, and received a huge shock due to the newly acquired Sky.

Revenue also rose for broadcasting and cable TV networks in its NBCUniversal division, despite lukewarm sales growth. The film industry was hit by "The Grinch", which came out in November.


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