Comcast Beats Q3 Expectations on Broadband Customer Growth

US telecommunication company Comcast Corp. fared well in the third quarter, surpassing analysts’ expectations, despite a slight revenue drop and broadband customer growth remaining soft.

The Pennsylvania-based firm brought in earnings per share (EPS) of $0.96 on revenue of $29.85 billion in the third quarter, ending higher than forecasts of $0.90 per share on sales of $29.75 billion.

Comcast’s revenue was down 1.5% compared with the same quarter in 2021. However, its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increased 5.9% from the same period in the previous year to $9.5 billion.

Analysts from a California-based financial services provider commended the company’s better-than-expected results, saying Comcast had a solid operating quarter.

Challenging Environment Continues

Comcast’s broadband customer base was up 14,000 in the third quarter, marking an improvement from the no net additions in the second quarter, which was the first ever time the company saw no new customers.

Still, that suggests that competition from telecom and wireless internet firms has become more challenging for cable broadband providers.

The reduced momentum in customer growth is pressuring Comcast’s key business, and the same is happening to its domestic rivals Charter Communications Inc. and Altice USA Inc.

Texas-based AT&T Inc. said last week it would continue focusing on building its fiber-optic network and reported that it gained 338,000 new fiber-optic broadband customers in the third quarter.

Analysts believe the broadband challenge is still ongoing for cable, seeing the increased availability of fixed wireless access (FWA) and subscriptions for at least next year and as fewer people move to new homes in the US.

It is a fair question whether broadband subs can rise in any quarter over 2023, according to the analysts.

While challenges lie ahead, Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said they are in an excellent strategic and financial position, and their future remains bright.

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