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What Do Comcast’s Growing Revenues Signal?

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Comcast beat revenue expectations in the first quarter

Comcast (CMCSA) boasted revenue of $22.8 billion in the first quarter, well above the consensus estimate of $22.7 billion. In the first quarter, the company’s top line rose 10.7% YoY (year-over-year) from $20.6 billion in the first quarter of 2017 on the back of improved segment results.

While Comcast’s Cable Communications revenue improved 3.6%, its NBCUniversal revenue rose 21.3% YoY in the quarter.

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Revenue improved significantly in the first quarter

In the first quarter, the Cable Communications segment’s revenue rose 3.6% YoY on the back of improvements in high-speed Internet, business services, and advertising revenue. However, its video and voice revenues fell 0.8% and 2.7% YoY, respectively, due to a fall in residential customers in the quarter.

Revenue at NBCUniversal surged 21.3% YoY in the quarter, although the filmed entertainment business didn’t do well, with its first-quarter revenue falling significantly by 16.3% YoY. The theme parks, broadcast, and cable networks divisions each reported double-digit revenue growth in the quarter. NBCUniversal also managed the broadcast of the Super Bowl and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which generated an incremental $1.6 billion in revenue in its TV business.

Rivals’ revenues

Comcast’s rival the Walt Disney Company (DIS) also beat revenue expectations in its fiscal second quarter of 2018, which ended on March 31, after missing expectations in the past five straight quarters. Disney’s revenue of $14.5 billion also rose 9% YoY in the quarter.

Media company CBS (CBS) also posted revenue growth of 13% YoY in the quarter. Time Warner (TWX), which is waiting for the federal court’s decision related to its merger with AT&T (T), reported revenue growth of 3% YoY to ~$8.0 billion.

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