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Comcast quarterly profit tops estimates as broadband subscribers grow

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Comcast quarterly profit tops estimates as broadband subscribers grow

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O> reported quarterly profit that topped Wall Street estimates on Thursday as the No. 1 U.S. cable operator said it added broadband and home security customers even though it lost video subscribers. Comcast has been facing pressure in its video business as more consumers cancel their cable packages, sometimes in favour of cheaper streaming options like Netflix Inc <NFLX.O>. AT&T Inc <T.N> and Verizon Communications Inc <VZ.N> have also reported video subscriber losses in the third quarter. Net income attributable to Comcast rose 18.5 percent to $2.65 billion (£2 billion), or 55 cents a share, during the company’s third quarter ended Sept. 30, the company said on Thursday. Excluding items, earnings per share was 52 cents. Revenue fell 1.6 percent to $20.98 billion from the year-earlier period, which included impacts from the 2016 Olympics. Analysts had expected earnings of 50 cents per share and revenue of $21.04 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Comcast lost 125,000 video subscribers in the quarter. The company had said in September that it may lose up to 150,000 subscribers due to the impact from recent hurricanes and increased competitive activity in the pay-TV industry. More options have entered the market that allow consumers to stream television over the internet at a cheaper price than paying for cable. Such alternatives include Dish Network Corp’s <DISH.O> Sling service, Sony Corp’s <6758.T> PlayStation Vue and AT&T’s DirecTV Now. But Comcast has maintained that it is well-positioned for changes in viewing habits thanks to its high-speed Internet business, which added 214,000 subscribers. The company has also expanded into home security and automation, which added 51,000 subscribers. Overall, revenue in the cable business rose 5.1 percent, and NBCUniversal revenues rose 6 percent, excluding impact from the Olympics.

(Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; editing by Diane Craft)
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