Comcast/NBCU off to a good 2013 start


Comcast and NBCURevenue was up a bit and profits were up more at multimedia giant Comcast Corporation during Q1 2013. NBCU in particular found positives during a quarter during which it experienced a decline in total revenue.

Total net revenue increase 2.9% to $15,310B, but operating cash flow posted a 7.4% gain to $5,034B. Earnings per share were up nine cents to $0.54, a 20% gain.

Commented Chairman.CEO Brian L. Roberts, “We are off to a solid start in 2013, with strong revenue and cash flow growth and record quarterly free cash flow. Cable’s results highlight revenue growth in every product, led by Video and High-Speed Internet, and overall customer growth, as we continue to effectively balance financial and customer performance. NBCUniversal’s businesses also generated strong first quarter performance, led by Film and Cable Networks. We completed the acquisition of NBCUniversal during the quarter and look forward to continuing to drive innovation and operational excellence to deliver superior entertainment and communications choices for consumers.”

Cable was the stronger side of the business, posting a revenue increase of 6.4% to $10.2B, and a 7.4% gain in OCF to $4.22B. On the minus side, it ended the quarter with 60K fewer subscribers than it had at the end of Q1 2012.

NBCU keenly felt the absence of the Super Bowl from its schedule. Kicking those 2012 revenues out of the equation would have produced a 2.4% revenue gain. Instead, it had a $2.4% revenue loss to $5.3B. On the plus side, NBCU made a mockery of analyst OCF predictions, which according to Marci Ryvicker of Well Fargo were not optimistic, posting an impressive 17.2% gain to $953M. The company gave credit for the increase at the doorstep of its cable networks, filmed entertainment and theme parks.

The broadcast television division did not do well, dropping 18.5% to $1.5B, a $400M loss YOY. Take the Super Bowl (worth $259M) out and it was still a 5.3% decrease. OCF went entirely in the wrong direction, with the division losing $35M. It had lost $14M the prior year.