Comcast Corp Earnings: Look What NBC Does for Revenues

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) topped profit and sales estimates for the first quarter on growth in its high-speed Internet subscribers and the start of a turnaround for its NBC broadcast business.

Comcast’s 439,000 new broadband subscribers in the first quarter helped mitigate its 20th consecutive loss in video subscribers. The Philadelphia-based company also added around 164,000 phone customers, while reducing the rate at which it lost video customers to just 37,000.

Net income came in at $1.22 billion, or 45 cents a share, up from $943 million, or 34 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 9.6 percent to $14.88 billion.

Revenue at NBC Universal rose 18 percent to $5.47 billion, partly due to the 2012 Super Bowl broadcast. But even without that showpiece, the unit’s revenue was up 12.4 percent to $5.21 billion. Comcast owns 51 percent of NBC Universal. General Electric (NYSE:GE) owns the other 49 percent.

Revenue at the NBC network jumped 37 percent with the Super Bowl, but was still up by an impressive 18 percent without it. But the No. 4 network was still $10 million negative in operating cash flow as it invested heavily in new show launches like “Smash” and a second season of “The Voice.”