NBCUniversal Leads Comcast to Second-Quarter Gains

Comcast‘s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) 51% stake in NBCUniversal led the cable company to strong gains in its second quarter. In mid-January, Comcast acquired NBCUniversal from General Electric (NYSE:GE), which maintains a minority stake of 49%. The acquisition has proven fruitful for Comcast, which managed to increase second-quarter operating cash flow and revenue despite losing subscribers to services like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).

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Wednesday Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) chairman and CEO Brian Roberts announced the company’s quarterly financials, with revenue of $14.3 billion in the quarter ending June 31, and a 16% gain in earnings to $1.02 billion, though the company lost 238,000 video customers during that time period. While the loss was slightly less pronounced than a year ago when Comcast lost 265,000 subscribers in its second quarter, it certainly exceeded predictions that had the company losing between 175,000 and 200,000 subscribers.

But while Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was losing subscriptions to its cable service, NBCUniversal’s revenue rose 17.1% to $5.2 billion, more than a third of Comcast’s total revenue for the quarter, while operating cash flow increased 5.2% to $1.0 billion. While NBCUniversal’s television offerings were large contributors to its second-quarter profits, its film unit and theme parks also gained.

NBCUniversal film revenue rose 21% to $1.25 billion, and operating cash flow grew from $4 million to $27 million on the success of box office hits Fast Five and Bridesmaids. Broadcast revenue grew 18.5% to $1.7 billion and operating cash flow grew 8.8% to $190 million. Cable revenue grew 12.6% to $2.2 billion and operating cash flow grew 1.1% to $846 million. All of these separate divisions outweighed Comcast’s gains from its cable service, where revenue rose 5.6% and operating cash flow grew 6.8%.

While NBCUniversal may be responsible for Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) good fortunes, the reverse might also be said, as under the control of Comcast, NBCUniversal invested more money into new programming, resulting in increased advertising revenue. The company also increased its content licensing revenue.