NBCUniversal is launching its new Peacock streaming service.
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Comcast reported second-quarter revenue and earnings that topped analyst estimates, but the cable provider did not add broadband customers in a quarter for the first time ever.
Comcast̵[ads1]7;s high-speed Internet customers in the quarter were flat, missing the average analyst estimate of 84,000, according to FactSet. Revenue rose 5.1% to $30.02 billion from a year earlier, helped by NBCUniversal’s theme parks and studios. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, rose 10.1% to $9.8 billion.
Shares of Comcast fell more than 6% in premarket trading.
Comcast is seeing increasing competition for high-speed broadband, its most lucrative product. For more than a decade, the cable industry has dominated the home broadband market, but wireless companies like T-Mobile are now competing by offering 5G home networks. T-Mobile added 560,000 broadband users in the second quarter, well above the total of 338,000 in the first quarter.
Here are the key figures:
- Earnings per share: $1.01, adjusted vs. estimate of 92 cents, according to Refinitiv
- Income: $30.02 billion versus the $29.68 billion estimate, according to Refinitiv
- High-speed internet customers: 0 vs. 84,000 net additions, according to the average estimate among analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, in a statement, called the decline temporary as macroeconomic conditions such as higher inflation limit the number of new connections for the company. Broadband revenue rose 6.8% year-over-year to $6.1 billion in the quarter due to increased prices and a higher number of residential customers than a year earlier.
“We achieved our highest Adjusted EBITDA margin on record, even in the midst of a unique and evolving macroeconomic environment that is temporarily putting pressure on the volume of our new customer connections,” Roberts said.
Since March 2020, Comcast has added more than 3 million broadband customers.
Video customers are falling
Comcast lost 521,000 video customers in the quarter and lost 1 million video subscribers in the first six months of 2022. Consumers are ditching traditional pay-TV subscriptions at an accelerated rate in favor of streaming options, such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock .
Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast
David A Grogan | CNBC
Voice customers fell by 286,000 in the quarter, although wireless subscribers increased by 317,000. Wireless revenue increased nearly 30% year-over-year to $722 million. Business services rose 10% to $2.4 billion.
NBCUniversal revenue rose 18.7% in the quarter to $9.4 billion. NBCUniversal adjusted EBITDA rose 19.5% to $1.9 billion.
Studio revenue rose more than 33% to $3 billion, driven by “Jurassic World: Dominion,” which topped $900 million at the global box office.
The theme park business Universal continued to recover from last year’s downturn in the Covid pandemic. Revenue increased by about 65% to $1.8 billion. Adjusted EBITDA increased 187% to $632 million, the parks division’s highest-ever second-quarter EBITDA.
Peacock paid subscribers remained constant at 13 million after a gain of 4 million last quarter. Comcast said it expects “Jurassic World: Dominion,” along with two movies released in theaters in the third quarter — “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and Jordan Peele’s “Nope” — to help boost Peacock subscribers when they come to the streaming service after their ticket windows expire. “Sunday Night Football” and the World Cup, which starts Nov. 21, should also help grow Peacock subscribers later this year, Comcast said.
Here’s how Comcast’s divisions did for the quarter compared to a year earlier:
- Cable communications contributed $16.6 billion in revenue, up 3.7% year over year
- Media brought in $5.3 billion in revenue, up 3.6%
- Studios contributed $3 billion in revenue, up 33.3%
- Theme parks brought in $1.8 billion in revenue, up 64.8%
- Sky contributed $4.5 billion in revenue, down 13.8%
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which includes CNBC.
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