Comcast Stock Backback Soars Nearly 60%

comcastJust weeks after failing to win regulatory support for a $45 billion takeover of competitor Time Warner Cable TWC +0.92%, Comcast CMCSA +1.2% reported a strong first quarter rise in profits and an significant increase in its quarterly dividend and annual share repurchase authorization.

The Philadelphia-based Comcast reported revenue of $17.8 billion, and earning per share of 81-cents, exceeding analyst estimates and signaling it remains well positioned in fast changing cable and broadband industry, even after it?s failed deal for Time Warner TWX +0.25% Cable. The company also increased its quarterly dividend 11% to 25-cents a share and dramatically expanded its share repurchase.

During the first quarter, Comcast bought back $2.0 billion of stock, or 35.1 million shares and said its board of directors approved a near 60% increase of its 2015 authorization to $6.75 billion.

A Comcast Service Van. The Company reported strong results.

?We are off to a great start in 2015, with 7.6% operating cash flow growth and record quarterly free cash flow. Cable had a terrific quarter, once again reflecting strong results in high-speed Internet and business services,? Comcase CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement.

At its cable communications division, Comcast reported a 3% quarterly rise in video subscription revenue to $5.3 billion and a 10.7% rise in high speed internet revenue to $3 billion. Those revenues reflected steady video subscribers and a 407,000 customer rise in high-speed internet. Business service revenue grew over 20% to $1.1 billion. Overall cable operating cash flow margins held steady at 40.9%.

NBCUniversal revenues were bolstered by a sharp 33% rise in theme park revenue on the back of the success of its Orlando-based The Wizard World of Harry Potter. Cable and broadcast revenues also showed growth when excluding one-time sports events like the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the 2015 SuperBowl. Cable revenue rose 4.9%, while broadcast revenue rose 5.5% when excluding those sports events. Overall, NBCUniversal revenue fell 4% to $6.6 billion on a GAAP-basis.

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