Comcast's NBC Buy Drowns Out Outstanding Earnings Report

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's Note: Click here for a look back to see how some of the biggest names in communications fared in Q3 2012.**

Cable giant Comcast saw its revenue and operating income make excellent gains in the fourth quarter, but its earnings news was overshadowed by the announcement that it's buying the remaining half of NBCUniversal from General Electric for $16.7 billion.

The deal, which is expected to close in about six weeks, includes NBC, a number of cable channels and theme parks. Comcast also plans to buy NBC studios at Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC headquarters in New Jersey for $1.4 billion.

Comcast revenue grew from a little more than $15 billion in Q4 2011 to almost $16 billion in Q4 2012, up a little less than 6 percent. Operating income rose nearly 13 percent over the same period, from $2.9 billion to $3.3 billion.

"Our businesses have real momentum and we continue to benefit from our focus on operational excellence and to leverage all of our content and technology platforms to expand the entertainment choices we offer consumers," said Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corp.

Revenue from cable communications is the driving force behind Comcast's success. It was up 7 percent year over year, with business services ($660 million) up a staggering 33 percent. High-speed Internet was up more than 8 percent and video saw an uptick of 3 percent.

Roberts cites "ongoing investments in programming, technology and new products" as "driving innovation and supporting this strong performance."

For the year, Comcast added 1.2 million Internet customers and lost 336,000 TV subscribers.

Comcast's stock price leapt about 7 percent from Tuesday's close (approximately $39 to $41.50) to Wednesday's opening bell, but has since slid back to under $40 as of 3:18 p.m. ET.

 Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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