Comcast profit hit by Clearwire write-down

19 Feb 2009

Cable TV giant Comcast reported a 32% drop in profit year-on-year for the fourth quarter of 2008 at USD412 million. However, revenue was USD8.77 billion, up 9% on the same period last year. In particular telephony revenue grew 45% to USD731 million, and its business services division revenue was up 47% in the quarter to USD162 million. The fall in profit was caused by a USD600 million write-down related to its investment in wireless technology provider Clearwire. For the full year, Comcast earned USD2.55 billion, compared to USD2.59 billion in 2007. The company’s revenue rose 11% year-on-year to USD34.3 billion.

The number of basic cable subscribers dropped by 233,000 in the quarter, but they were replaced by 247,000 higher-paying digital cable customers. Comcast added 184,000 internet subscribers during the quarter, down 46% from the 341,000 it added in the year-ago quarter. The company ended 2008 with 14.9 million broadband subscribers.

In 2008, Comcast’s capital expenditures declined by 8% from the previous year to USD5.75 billion. The company plans to lower its capital spending in 2009, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of revenue. However, it will spend between USD400 million and USD500 million this year rolling out all-digital products and taking DOCSIS 3.0 to 65% of its cable footprint by the end of the year.

United States, Comcast Corp (Xfinity, incl. Xfinity Mobile)