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Comcast second-quarter profit beats Wall Street, misses on revenue

Comcast second-quarter profit beats Wall Street, misses on revenue
FILE PHOTO: The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York July 1, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo -
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Brendan McDermid(Reuters)
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By Helen Coster and Munsif Vengattil

(Reuters) – Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O> reported second-quarter profit on Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates as it added more high-speed internet customers, but it lost more video and phone customers than expected.

Overall revenue missed analyst estimates. Revenue from NBCUniversal’s cable networks, filmed entertainment and theme parks also fell short of expectations in the seasonally weaker quarter.

Philadelphia-based Comcast is adapting to changes in consumer behaviour as more people drop their cable television subscriptions in favour of streaming services like Netflix Inc <NFLX.O>.

Comcast said it lost 224,000 video customers in the quarter, more than the 121,000 it lost in the preceding quarter and topping the loss of 178,000 estimated by analysts, according to research firm FactSet.

Revenue from the high-speed internet business grew 9.4% to $4.66 billion (£3.74 billion) in the second quarter as Comcast gained 209,000 subscribers. The net subscriber additions were slightly ahead of the average analyst estimate of 208,000, according to FactSet, but were down from 260,000 in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue at the NBCUniversal business, which includes NBC Entertainment and Universal Pictures, fell 0.8% to $8.21 billion.

In June, NBCUniversal announced it will pull reruns of the workplace comedy “The Office” from Netflix in the United States in 2021, and will distribute the popular show on the advertising-supported TV streaming service it is launching in 2020, which will be free for NBCUniversal’s pay-TV customers as well as Sky customers internationally.

Revenue in Comcast’s filmed entertainment unit fell nearly 15% to $1.46 billion, reflecting a slate of films that underperformed compared to last year’s blockbuster “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”.

Theme park revenue grew 7.5% to $1.46 billion, while revenue from broadcast television rose 0.5% to $2.4 billion.

The British pay-TV group Sky, which Comcast bought last year, generated revenue of $4.83 billion.

Net income attributable to Comcast fell to $3.13 billion, or 68 cents per share, from $3.22 billion, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned 78 cents per share, beating estimates of 75 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Comcast reported revenue of $26.86 billion on a pro-forma basis, which fell short of Wall Street expectations of $27.06 billion.

(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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