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What’s Comcast’s Capex Outlook?

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Comcast’s capital expenditure

Comcast’s (CMCSA) capex trend has been shifting as the cost of rolling out its CPE (customer premise equipment) is decreasing as a percentage of total capex. However, the company’s investment in network infrastructure is increasing. In fiscal 2017, Comcast (CMCSA) expects Comcast Cable’s capex as a percentage of revenue to be flat at 15%, which means it expects the segment’s absolute capex to rise.

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The company pointed out at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference earlier this month that its high-speed data usage among its consumers rose 55% from 57 GB per month in fiscal 4Q15 to 88 GB per month in fiscal 4Q16, and that its mobile data usage averaged three GB per month in fiscal 4Q16. As a result, the company will continue to build its network capacity. Comcast is also looking at connecting commercial businesses with its network as a part of its business services.

Comcast’s capex in fiscal 2016

In fiscal 2016, Comcast Cable’s capex was $1.4 billion, a rise of 7.9% year-over-year. 2016 capex accounted for 15.2% of Comcast Cable’s revenue. The rise in capex in fiscal 2016 was mainly driven by the company’s rollout of its X1 platform and larger investments to scale up its infrastructure.

Comcast’s total capex was $9.1 billion in fiscal 2016. NBCUniversal’s capex was $1.4 billion, up 4.8% year-over-year. A major part of Comcast’s NBCUniversal capital investment was in its theme parks. In its fiscal 4Q16 earnings call, the company stated that its continued investment in theme parks will continue to drive higher spending per capita and attendance at its theme parks.

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