Comcast Struck Olympic Gold


Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reported third-quarter 2012 results before markets opened this morning. The cable operator posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.46 on revenues of $16.5 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.33 on revenues of $14.34 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.46 and $16.08 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, Comcast's EPS totaled $0.78, compared with $0.33 a year ago. The company recorded a one-time gain of $0.20 per share related to the sale of SpectrumCo's wireless spectrum licenses and another gain of $0.12 on the sale of its interests in A&E Television Networks.

The company's CEO noted:

Cable's results show real strength in every part of the business, producing sustainable and profitable growth while we expand our product offerings, deliver more innovation and continue to transform the customer experience. … The London Olympics exceeded all our expectations and our entire company contributed to their success, proving how effective we can be when we bring together our unique assets and capabilities.

Comcast did not offer any guidance information, but the consensus estimates call for fourth-quarter EPS of $0.54 on revenue of $15.84 billion. The current full-year estimate calls for EPS of $1.94 on revenue of $62.02 billion.

The London Olympics added $1.2 billion to Comcast's quarterly revenues, which makes the current estimate for fourth-quarter revenue growth pretty aggressive. Backing out the $1.2 billion, Comcast's revenues in the third quarter came to $15.3 billion, which means that revenues have to grow by around $500 million in the fourth quarter to meet the consensus estimate. In 2011, fourth quarter revenues grew by $700 million compared with the third quarter, so it can be done.

Comcast's shares are up 1.8% in premarket trading, at $37.00, in a 52-week range of $20.90 to $37.60. The consensus target price for the shares was around $39.85 before today's report.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Cable Companies, Earnings, Entertainment, TV Tagged: CMCSA