While the economy battered most advertising-driven media companies in the fourth quarter, Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) reported a jump in revenue, fueled by rate increases and new internet and voice offerings. Revenue grew 9 percent to $8.8 billion, and operating cash flow grew 9 percent to $3.4 billion. EPS was $0.14 versus $0.20 during the same quarter in 2007the decline reflected a one-time impairment charge related to the company's investment in Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR), the wireless broadband internet provider. Some more highlights:
Cable revenue grew 7 percent to $8.2 billion.
Programming revenue was flat at $350 million.
The company generated $864 million of free cash during the period, which led it to increase its dividend by 8%.
Wideband (Comcast's broadband-plus service) is now offered in 25 percent of its coverage areas.
The company added 290,000 net subscribers during the quarter and increased average revenue per video customer by 9 percent, driven mostly by more customers subscribing to multiple products. Some additional subscriber numbers for the quarter:
23 percent of subscribers were three-product customers at the end of 2008 versus 16 percent at the end of 2007.
Video subscribers decreased by 233,000.
Internet subscribers increased by 184,000.
Voice/Telephony subscribers were up by 344,000.
More after the call.
By Rory Maher