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Comcast Posts Q4 Profit Surge Despite Video Declines

3 Feb, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Comcast Corp. Feb. 3 reported fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31) consolidated net income of $955 million, up 131% from consolidated net income of $412 million during the previous-year period.

The nation’s largest cable operator said quarterly revenue increased 29% to $9 billion, compared to revenue of $8.8 billion last year due in part to increases in high-speed Internet and voice services.

Comcast, similarly to Time Warner Cable earlier this week, reported declines in video subscribers, including video-on-demand (VOD) transactions and premium channels as consumers scale back discretionary expenses due to the ongoing economic recession.

Indeed, video revenue declined 0.6% due to the number of monthly subscribers purchasing premium channels such as HBO and Showtime falling 199,000 in the quarter.

“This slowdown in video ARPU (average revenue per user) is a result of more moderate rate increases in the fourth quarter,” said CFO Michael Angelakis in a Feb. 3 call with investors. “A decrease in pay revenue, as well as our shift in our video mix, resulted as customers subscribed to lower levels of our digital service.”

Comcast lost 623,000 video customers in 2009 compared to 575,000 subs in 2008.

The Philadelphia-based company last year acquired NBC Universal for $30 billion, pending regulatory approval.

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