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Comcast first-quarter results beat across the board, lifted by media and parks revenue

Brian Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast Corp.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Comcast reported first-quarter earnings Thursday that beat analyst estimates on the top and bottom lines.

Shares fell 0.1% in premarket trading, after initially rising as much as 5% on the report.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Earnings per share: 86 cents, adjusted vs. 80 cents per share, according to Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $31.01 billion vs. $30.5 billion, according to Refinitiv
  • High-speed internet customers: 262,000 vs. 229,000 net additions, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet

The company’s Europe-based Sky division saw its revenue slide 4.5% year over year to $4.8 billion, due to the impact of currency, as well as lower content revenue. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were projecting Sky revenue of $4.92 billion for the quarter.

Comcast’s Universal theme park business continued to recover after extended shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Revenue in the division soared more than 151% year over year to $1.56 billion, which exceeded analysts’ projected $1.44 billion, according to FactSet.

“Our recovery from the pandemic at theme parks has been fantastic and shows no signs of slowing down,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.

NBCUniversal saw a roughly 46% revenue rise in the first quarter, which included $1.5 billion from the Beijing Olympics and the Super Bowl. 

Advertising revenue jumped 59.2% during the quarter, in large part because of those two events.

Here’s how Comcast’s divisions did for the quarter compared with a year earlier:

  • Cable Communications contributed $16.54 billion in revenue, up 4.7%
  • Media brought in $6.87 billion in revenue, up 36.3%
  • Studios contributed $2.76 billion in revenue, up 15.1%
  • Theme Parks brought in $1.56 billion in revenue, up 151.9%
  • Sky contributed $4.77 billion in revenue, down 4.5%

Excluding revenue from the Beijing Olympics and the Super Bowl, Comcast said its media division brought in $5.38 billion of revenue during the quarter, an increase of 6.9% year over year.

Comcast did not report sign-ups for Peacock, NBCUniversal’s ad-supported streaming platform, but Roberts said in a statement that the unit had “an exceptional quarter.” In January, the company said Peacock ended 2021 with 24.5 million monthly active accounts.

The company reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $456 million related to Peacock, compared with an adjusted EBITDA loss of $277 million in the year-ago period.

On Wednesday, Comcast announced a new joint venture with Charter Communications that will see its Xfinity Flex streaming hardware available to broadband subscribers of both companies.

“This partnership demonstrates the benefits of our focus on innovation and enables us to bring entertainment aggregation and streaming products that run off our global technology platform to millions more customers,” Roberts said.

WATCH: ‘The pendulum has swung too far to the negative on streaming,’ says Guggenheim’s Michael Morris

Disclosure: Comcast owns CNBC’s parent NBCUniversal.

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