Comcast Revenues Skyrocket in Second Quarter

Traditionally, it's a slow time of year in the cable business.

It’s good to be the king.

Philly-based Comcast brought in $16.8 billion in revenues during the second quarter of 2014, a 3.5 percent increase over 2013. It did so even though it lost 144,000 cable subscribers nationwide during the quarter — a number offset by the addition 203,000 high-speed Internet subscribers and a 22 percent increase in the company’s increasingly important “business services” offerings.

The company generated 76 cents of earnings per share, compared to 65 cents per share a year ago.

The quarterly earnings were reported Tuesday morning.

Year-to-date, Comcast has brought in $34.25 billion in revenues, an increase of 8.5 percent over the same time period in 2013. That number is skewed by the profits generated by the Sochi Olympics, which aired on Comcast subsidiary NBC during the first quarter. But Comcast says that revenues would still be up 5 percent over last year if the Olympics were omitted.

One of the chief contributors to that growth: The aforementioned business services sector of the company — which is relatively new, having been introduced by Comcast just seven years ago. Originally, Comcast focused on providing phone, Internet, and video service to small businesses (of up to 20 employees) but expanded that to include mid-sized businesses of up to 500 employees.

That part of Comcast’s business is expected to bring in nearly $4 billion in revenues, just on its own, this year.

The New York Times notes: “The second quarter typically is the weakest period for Comcast. A portion of its customer base is made up of students who cancel subscriptions when they leave for the summer, and snowbirds who leave warmer regions during the summer months.”

The Times also points out how Comcast’s business will continue to evolve:

Across the industry in the United States, the number of households subscribing to pay-television services has been dropping in recent years. About 100.8 million households now subscribe to pay TV, down from 100.9 million in 2013, according to the research firm SNL Kagan.

In contrast, the number of households that relied on the Internet or streaming services to watch television shows instead of a traditional cable or satellite subscription, surged 31 percent, to 7.6 million.

USA Today notes that Comcast has fewer overall customers, but those who remain consume more of, and pay more for, the company’s products:

Overall, Comcast has 26.8 million customers after losing 25,000 during the second quarter — an improvement of 62%, compared to 66,000 lost during the second quarter of 2013. However, the company increased its number of triple play customers — those who have pay TV, Net and phone service — to 36% of its customer base, up from 34% last year. Overall, Comcast has 9.7 million triple play customers.

Customers’ average monthly bills rose nearly 4.5% to $137.24 from $131.35 in the second quarter last year.

A full overview of the company’s earnings can be found here.