Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reported an increase in fourth-quarter earnings and revenues, which topped expectations. The communication firm also raised its dividend by 10% and its stock gained during the pre-market trading session o Thursday, soon after the announcement.
Adjusted earnings rose to $0.79 per share from $0.72 per share last year, exceeding Wall Street’s prediction. Net income, on a reported basis, increased to $3.16 billion or $0.68 per share from $2.51 billion or $0.55 per share in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Driving the earnings growth, revenues moved up 2% year-over-year to $29.39 billion. Analysts were looking for slower growth. There was a 3% uptick in consolidated adjusted EBITDA.
Record Net Additions
At the Cable Communications segment, total customer relationship net additions were 372,000, which is the highest for any quarter. Total high-speed internet customer net additions came in at 442,000. At the Sky business, total customer relationships increased 1.7% annually to 24 million, including net additions of 77,000.
“Looking ahead, in 2020 we are leaning into exciting opportunities, including: further differentiating our broadband product in the U.S. through innovations like Flex and xFi Advanced Security; accelerating the deployment of Sky Q; launching a new broadband service in Italy and debuting Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan,” said CEO Brian Roberts.
In the whole of 2019, the company paid total dividends of $3.7 billion and raised the annualized dividend for 2020 by 10% to $0.92 per share. Accordingly, the board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.23 a share, payable April 22, 2020, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 1, 2020.
The management said it is on track to launch Peacock, the global streaming service announced earlier.
Comcast’s shares surged to an all-time high this week, prior to the earnings release, after gaining steadily in the past several months. The stock gained 33% in the past twelve months and 5% since the beginning of the year.
The recent optimism about economic recovery waned slightly this week after jobless claims increased more-than-expected to about 778,000 amid concerns over a resurgence in coronavirus cases. With the healthcare system
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