The cable giant reported that Q4 pro forma revenues increased 7% to $8.2 billion and operating cash flow also increased 7% to $3.2 billion. In fact, free cash flow generation has been good enough that the board of directors upped Comcast’s dividend by 8% to 27 cents per year.
Comcast took a $600 million write-down in Q4 for its investment in Clearwire, the wireless broadband company it jointly owns with Time Warner, Sprint Nextel, Intel, Google and Bright House Networks. That dropped the company’s net profits for the quarter by 32% to $412 million, or 14 cents per share. That, however, exceeded Wall Street expectations.
“I am very pleased with our results and how we executed in 2008. Despite a very difficult economic environment, we met or exceeded all of our financial targets, demonstrating the strength of our subscription businesses. We also made progress in our key strategic initiatives, including improving the customer experience, deploying wideband in approximately 25% of our footprint, and beginning the process of going ‘All-Digital’,” said CEO Brian Roberts.
“For 2009, our goal is to continue to deliver growth even in this challenging environment and we remain focused on free cash flow generation,” he added.