Comcast’s capital expenditure and programming costs
For fiscal 2017, Comcast (CMCSA) expects its capex as a percentage of revenues for Comcast Cable to stay flat at 15%. As a result, the company expects its absolute capex to rise.
The company also expects the capex of its Comcast’s NBCUniversal business to rise 10% as it adds new attractions to its theme parks.
With respect to Comcast’s programming costs, the company expects the operating margin for Comcast Cable to stay flat or fall 50 basis points in fiscal 2017. However, the company expects that its programming costs could moderate over the long term. The main reason for Comcast’s increase in programming costs has been the rising costs associated with the acquisition of sports broadcasting rights and higher retransmission fees.
However, Comcast expects its non-programming costs in fiscal 2017 to be lower than in fiscal 2016 as a result of the company’s effective cost management.
Comcast’s financial metrics
At the end of fiscal 1Q17, Comcast had total debt of $61.7 billion and a cash balance of $4.0 billion, bringing its net debt to ~$58 billion. Net debt is the difference between a company’s total debt and its cash balance.
Comcast has a total debt-to-total capital ratio of 51%. Comcast’s peers The Walt Disney Company (DIS), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), and Time Warner (TWX) have total debt-to-total-capital ratios of 30%, 56%, and 50%, respectively.
Comcast’s forward EPS (earnings per share) estimate is expected to be $1.98, and it has a debt-to-asset ratio of 0.34x.