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American multinational telecoms conglomerate Comcast had a commendable Q4 2022 outing despite stacked losses from its Peacock platform.
On Thursday, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reported its Q4 2022 earnings, which beat expectations amid a slowdown in broadband growth. Comcast’s fourth-quarter performance surpassed the consensus estimate despite mounting losses from its Peacock streaming service. The Philadelphia-based multinational telecoms giant’s top-line growth received a boost from the higher revenue of its broadband and wireless businesses. In addition, Comcast’s quarterly revenue intake was also spurred by the company’s theme parks segment.
Comcast Q4 2022 Performance Assessment
For Q4 2022, Comcast recorded a revenue haul of $30.55 billion compared to the $30.32 billion that analysts expected. Furthermore, the company’s earnings per share for the period ended December 31st came in at 82 cents, adjusted versus 77 cents expected.
Comcast said its Q4 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization slipped approximately 5% to $8 billion year-over-year. The primary causative factor for this slippage was as a result of higher severance expenses.
Comcast also said it lost 26,000 total broadband customers during the fourth quarter of last year. This subscriber base loss came from the service interruption impact of Hurricane Ian, which struck South Carolina and Florida last September. According to Comcast, it would have added 4,000 net subscribers if not for the hurricane’s impact. Nonetheless, all indicators point to the fact that cable broadband subscriber growth is waning compared to the early pandemic era.
This subscriber growth slowdown is impacting the flagship businesses of cable platforms such as Comcast and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR). Furthermore, several cable companies now face heightened competition from telecom brands and wireless providers.
Cable companies also attribute their recent customer base drop-off to the US housing market slowdown. These companies allege that the declining rate of moving between homes is also to blame for the lack of new customers. However, despite this unsavory development, Comcast’s broadband subscriber base remains relatively stable. Revenue for the previously mentioned segment climbed nearly 6% during the last quarter, partly due to a price hike.
Mobile Customer Growth
Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile grew by 365,000 new entries in the fourth quarter of 2022. As it stands, the platform now has a total wireless customer count of more than 5.3 million. Furthermore, it is worth noting that mobile customer growth has remained consistent for cable providers since they first ventured into the business. Conversely, the cable-TV industry lost 440,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter as consumers shifted towards streaming services.
Comcast’s over-the-top video streaming service, Peacock, surpassed 20 million subscribers for the period. However, the streamer’s higher losses bore down hard on operator NBCUniversal’s earnings.
NBCUniversal experienced a revenue increase of roughly 6% to arrive at $9.9 billion during Q4. This development benefited immensely from revenue from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The tournament’s proceedings aired on NBCUniversal’s Spanish-language Telemundo TV network and Peacock.
NBCUniversal also accrued a 12% revenue increase to $2.1 billion for the quarter. This commendable development came about due to higher attendance and customer spending at US and Japan-based locations.