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Comcast tops earnings estimates, declares 2-for-1 stock split

Comcast beat analyst expectations for the fourth quarter 2016 earnings, sending its shares higher in premarket trading Thursday morning.

The media giant delivered 89 cents per share in earnings, versus expectations of 87 cents. It did $21. 03 billion in revenue, versus expectations of $20.67 billion.

Shares were up 3 percent shortly after the report was released.

Earnings were up 9.9 percent from 81 cents per share a year earlier, while revenue rose 9 percent from $19.25 billion.

The parent company of NBCUniversal also announced a 15 percent increase in its dividend and reported a 2-for-1 stock split.

"Our performance at Comcast Cable was exceptionally strong. We grew operating cash flow 5.6 percent, added 161,000 video subscribers, the best video customer results in a decade, and delivered our best high-speed Internet customer results in nine years," Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.

"As we begin 2017, we are well positioned to continue driving growth and shareholder value as we embark on the opportunities ahead," he said.

Revenue at NBCUniversal, which Comcast acquired in 2011, rose 13 percent. It was helped by the popularity of Thursday Night Football and prime-time shows such as "This Is Us."

The company said operating cash flow increased 7 percent.

In the cable segment, revenue rose 7 percent as the company added video subscribers. In November, Comcast made Netflix available through the cable operator's X1 set-top box.

Investors are also keeping a close watch on whether Comcast could face new competition if AT&T's proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner is approved by regulators. AT&T said Wednesday that it expects approval for the deal later this year.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

— Reuters contributed to this report.