Comcast posts mixed quarterly results, big beat on internet customer adds

Key Points
  • Shares of Comcast closed 4 percent up on Thursday.
  • The company continues to add high-speed internet customers, blowing Wall Street projections out of the water in the second quarter.
Comcast reports mixed quarter

Comcast reported mixed quarterly results Thursday — beating Wall Street estimates on earnings but falling short on revenue — and posted a big beat on high-speed internet adds.

Here's how the company did compared with what Wall Street predicted:

  • Earnings: 65 cents per share vs. 60 cents per share forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $21.74 billion vs. $21.86 billion forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Net increase of 260,000 high-speed internet customers vs. 195,000 forecast by FactSet consensus estimates

Shares of Comcast rose 4 percent by the close on Thursday.

The report comes on the heels of a busy quarter of evolving M&A strategy for the media giant, which owns CNBC-parent NBCUniversal. Comcast has been in bidding wars for U.K. broadcaster Sky and 21st Century Fox assets, but last week abandoned its bid for Fox.

The Fox bid was largely a play at international expansion, CEO Brian Roberts said on the company's earnings call, but didn't promise enough shareholder value at the higher price.

"We've looked at a lot of things — thousands of transactions over 50 years, and we've done several hundred," Roberts said. "And we have more times than not been able to create shareholder value if we can make those acquisitions work."

Comcast's pursuit of new media assets comes amid consistent declines in video customers for the last four quarters, according to FactSet.

The company continues to add high-speed internet customers, though, blowing Wall Street projections out of the water in the second quarter. Roberts said in a statement the 260,000 net new internet customers is the highest second-quarter result in a decade.

"As more people rely on faster and faster broadband and more capacity, that gave us a marvelous opportunity to make investments, to take the innovation machinery that our engineers and technology team have built and repurpose them partially to focus on innovation around broadband," Roberts said.

Last quarter, Comcast saw a revenue boost from NBC's coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl. Revenue from the company's NBCUniversal segment — absent those one-time boosts — was flat in the second quarter. Comcast also reported record-setting coverage for Telemundo, as it presented the FIFA World Cup for the first time.

The company's second quarter revenue represents a 2 percent year-over-year increase. Earnings per share jumped 25 percent from the year-ago period.

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

Comcast reports mixed quarter