Comcast Earnings May Remain Flat as Broadband Falls, Peacock Subscriptions Grow

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Key Takeaways

  • Comcast Corp. is expected to report flat EPS and a marginal decline in revenue year-on-year (YOY) when it posts fourth-quarter earnings Thursday.
  • Comcast's broadband subscriber figures are expected to continue to fall amid post-COVID shifts in where work is done and increasing competition from other providers.
  • Comcast could make up for declining broadband business if it continues to add Peacock streaming subscribers at an accelerating rate.
  • Comcast launched two DIY home-monitoring products in November, helping to bulk up its subscription-based Self Protection product.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) reports fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 results before the market opens on Thursday. Analysts expect flat earnings per share (EPS) on marginally declining revenue compared with the prior year, the result of fewer broadband memberships and other factors.

Comcast is forecast to report net income attributable to the company of $2.8 billion, down from $3.0 billion a year before. Diluted EPS is expected to be 70 cents, unchanged from the final quarter of 2022. Revenue may drop by less than 1% to $30.4 billion.

Comcast Key Stats
  Analyst Estimates for Q4 2023 Q3 2023 Q4 2022
Revenue $30.4 billion $30.1 billion $30.6 billion
Diluted Earnings Per Share $0.70 $0.98 $0.70
Net Income $2.8 billion $4.0 billion $3.0 billion
Source: Visible Alpha

Key Metric: Broadband Subscribers

Comcast's core broadband business has lost subscribers in recent quarters as the company has faced increased competition from fixed wireless and fiber-based wired alternatives. Additionally, the post-COVID shift to hybrid work environments has coincided with a reduction in broadband subscriptions.

In the third quarter, Comcast lost about 18,000 domestic broadband subscribers, so investors should watch for whether this trend continued through the end of the year.

Business Spotlight

On the other hand, declining broadband business may not damage Comcast's top line as much if the company's efforts to bolster its streaming services, wireless, and theme park offerings succeeded.

Comcast's Peacock streaming service reported 4 million net added paid subscribers for the third quarter, helping to boost the company's streaming revenue by more than half.

The company also hopes to capitalize on the growing demand for home security and monitoring tools. In November, Comcast's Xfinity unit announced the launch of the Door and Window Sensor and Motion Sensor products for DIY home-monitoring setups.

Comcast shares rose from March through August 2023 but have since fallen somewhat. Overall, the company has posted a return of about 8.4% over the last year.
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