Comcast Corporation’s (CMCSA) shares gained 3% in premarket hours on Wednesday after the company topped expectations on revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Revenues grew 26.1% to $27.8 billion from the same period last year, helped by growth in the Cable Communications and NBCUniversal segments.
On a GAAP basis, net income attributable to Comcast dropped more than 80% to $2.5 billion, or $0.55 per share, from the year-ago quarter. Last year’s fourth quarter earnings results included a one-time tax benefit of $12.7 billion. Adjusted net income rose over 30% to $2.9 billion, or $0.64 per share, from last year.
Cable Communications segment revenue grew 5.2% in the quarter, driven by growth in broadband, advertising, business services and other. Revenues declined in the video and voice divisions, mainly due to a drop in the number of residential customers. Total customer relationships grew by 258,000 to 30.3 million, helped by increases in residential and business customer relationships.
NBCUniversal segment revenue grew 7.1%, helped by growth across all its business divisions. Cable Networks revenue grew around 9%, driven mainly by increases in distribution, content licensing and other revenue.
Revenues increased across the Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment and Theme Parks divisions driven by various factors including higher distribution and advertising revenue, growth in theatrical revenue and higher attendance. These increases were partly offset by lower content licensing revenues.
Pro forma revenue for Sky grew 2.4% to $5 billion in the quarter. On a constant currency basis, revenue growth was 5.6%, reflecting increases in direct-to-consumer, content and advertising revenue. Pro forma total customer relationships grew by 164,000 to 23.6 million.
Comcast increased its dividend by 10% to $0.84 per share on an annualized basis for 2019. The Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.21 a share on the company’s stock, payable April 24, 2019 to shareholders of record on April 3, 2019. Comcast also said it would halt share repurchases in 2019 to reduce the debt incurred from the acquisition of Sky.
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