Comcast Still Confident of Growth

Consumers may be cutting the cord, but Comcast’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) bets on high-speed internet and film franchises are providing fresh sources of growth.

The media and cable giant reported quarterly earnings on Wednesday that beat analyst expectations, and revenue that topped estimates, as the company grew its customer base in high-speed internet and business services, offsetting lost customers in video services.

It also announced plans to increase its dividend by 21% and to repurchase at least $5 billion in stock in 2018.

Comcast reported Earnings per Share of 49 cents per share, adjusted vs. 47 cents expected by Thomson Reuters. Revenue was $21.92 billion vs. $21.82 billion.

A year earlier, Comcast reported adjusted earnings of 45 cents per share on revenue of $21.03 billion.

The financial results of the owner of NBCUniversal set the stage for rivals that are also exploring combinations of content and internet services.

Comcast's Xfinity is one of the biggest residential providers of video, internet and phone. Comcast now has 29.3 million customers.

Comcast added 350,000 high-speed internet customers during the quarter, slightly less than a year earlier, but still the largest source of sales growth for the company. But 33,000 video customers left during the quarter, a change Comcast attributed to more "aggressive" offers from traditional and emerging competitors.

Still, it's better than analysts expected. Comcast was expected to lose 45,000 video subscribers and gain 312,000 high-speed internet customers

Comcast shares began Wednesday up 50 cents, or 1.2%, to $42.94.