NEW YORK ‚?? Comcast Corp., the nation‚??s largest provider of cable TV and Internet services, more than doubled its net income in the third quarter, chiefly due to the sale of wireless spectrum and its stake in the A&E TV channel.
Underlying results were strong, however, as cable TV saw fewer cancellations than expected and the expensive-to-produce London Olympics broke even on NBC.
Net income rose to $2.11 billion, or 78 cents per share, in the three months through September from $908 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue grew 15 percent to $16.54 billion, blowing past the $16.07 billion expected by analysts.
Comcast‚??s shares rose $1.20, or 3.3 percent, to $37.56, just below the all-time high of $37.60 hit a week ago.
The Philadelphia-based company lost 117,000 video subscribers in the quarter, leaving it with about 22 million. Video subscriber losses have slowed for eight quarters in a row, which the company said was due to better customer service and fewer in-person service calls.
An increasing number of customers added advanced products such as high-definition digital video recorders, which helped boost revenue per video customer, even though some analysts were expecting a decline.
Comcast said it took in $1.19 billion in revenue for the Olympics alone during the quarter, topping the $1.18 billion it paid for the rights. The company also spent production dollars on camera crews, announcers and the like.
The money helped NBCUniversal, which saw revenue rise 31 percent to $6.82 billion. Excluding the Olympics bump, revenue still grew 8 percent.
Broadcast ad revenue at NBC more than doubled to $1.99 billion, and rose 9 percent excluding the Olympics.